What You Can Do If Your Military Spouse Passes On


Having a loved one serve in the Military can be difficult for any family but losing them during their time in service or afterwards due to disabilities receive during service is a family’s worst fear. There is lots of information on what families can do during their time of loss.

Determining Eligibility
To apply for the VA home loan benefit, the widow must apply for a certificate of eligibility through the VA’s Winston-Salem Eligibility Center. The widow must apply via mail; the process can take up to three months. She needs to complete VA Form 26-1817, which is available on the VA’s website.

Refinancing Available
If a widow or her spouse received a VA loan before he died, she may be eligible for a VA-guaranteed interest rate reduction refinancing loan (IRRRL). An IRRRL is a loan that refinances an existing VA loan into a new VA loan with a lower interest rate, or from an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage. A certificate of eligibility is generally not required for this.

Documentation Needed
Widows of servicemen who died during their tour of duty typically receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which supplies most of the documentation the Eligibility Center needs to begin processing a VA home loan benefit. If a widow isn’t receiving DIC, she needs to send in a copy of the Report of Casualty (DD 1300 form) and a copy of her marriage certificate. The VA recommends that she also apply for DIC during this process.
If her husband died after service but as a result of a disability caused by his service, the widow needs to send in a copy of her DIC award letter. If she doesn’t receive DIC, the Eligibility Center will need a copy of her spouse’s DD 214 form (Separation Report), his death certificate and her marriage certificate. She should also apply for DIC at this time.
The deceased spouse’s Social Security number must be on all documents.

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