Being married to a veteran can be challenging, and likely means you've spent long periods of time away from your partner when he was deployed or went to military training. However, there are also advantages of marrying a retired military man. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers numerous retired military benefits for dependents and other advantages that can make the struggles of military life a little easier.
Benefits for Veterans Spouses
Among the benefits of marrying a retired military man are special health benefits, home loans and educational assistance. It's possible to find out if you and your spouse are eligible for those benefits at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website.
There Are Different Types of Health Benefits
Marrying a retired veteran gives him and the spouse options for different health benefits. Even during your spouse's time in service, both you and he are eligible for free or reduced-cost medical care. One of the retired military benefits for dependents is that after his retirement, you can apply for health insurance programs designed specifically for veterans, and you may also be eligible for reduced-cost health care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and some military bases. The partner may have the right to be included in this health insurance program.
Educational Assistance in Cases of Disability or Death
If your spouse dies or is permanently disabled, you can receive educational assistance under the GI Bill. Not all educational programs qualify for assistance, so check the program you've chosen has this option or any retired military benefits for dependents. Survivors and Dependents Assistance is available to help you cover the costs of tuition and can significantly reduce your educational expenses. If you have children, they are also eligible for assistance under the program.
Reduced Rates for Home Loans
Veterans are eligible for federally guaranteed reduced-rate mortgages that may also offer lower down payment requirements. These loans are among the husband or wife benefits. That means that marrying a retired veteran makes you eligible to request home loans assistance. The rules are also valid if your spouse died during active duty and you have not remarried.
Support in Cases of Death
Marrying a retired veteran means that you are eligible for a pension determined by his pay rate and his number of years in service. If he dies, you can receive a need-based pension to help cover your lost income and living expenses. The spouse's veteran status might also increase his Social Security benefits and your Social Security payments upon his death. The military also offers burial benefits to help cover the costs of funerals, a burial flag to drape over a veteran's coffin and the option to bury your spouse in a veterans' cemetery.
Other Advantages of Daily Life
There are also other benefits of marrying a retired military man. The couple generally has access to most of the recreational activities occurring on military bases, as well as access to the Base Exchange, which typically offers everyday products at reduced prices. Other benefits of marrying a retired military man are that veterans and their spouses are eligible for home, auto and life insurance through USAA.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Home Loan Guaranty Benefits for Surviving Spouses
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Survivors and Dependents Assistance
- Military.com: Checklist for New Military Spouses
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Burial Benefits
- Military: What Benefits Are You Eligible For As The Spouse of A Retiree?
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: Health Benefits
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.