You can reestablish your eligibility for VA survivor benefits.
Regarding Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), a remarried surviving spouse whose subsequent marriage is annulled or declared void can reestablish eligibility as a surviving spouse. However, effective September 30, 1998, the law was changed to allow a surviving spouse to reestablish DIC eligibility after termination of remarriage. Therefore, after September 30, 1998, eligibility for DIC is established in any case in which the remarriage of the surviving spouse is terminated by death, divorce, or annulment. Also, remarriage of a surviving spouse after the age of 57 does not preclude continued payment of DIC.
Regarding Death (Survivor’s) Pension benefits, the law generally requires a surviving spouse’s entitlement to be terminated if the surviving spouse remarries, regardless of age, even if that remarriage is terminated by death or divorce. However, VA regulations establish limited exceptions that generally allow entitlement to Death Pension to be reestablished if the marriage was:
- Annulled or declared void.
- Terminated by death or divorce on or after January 1, 1971, and before November 1, 1990.
Accordingly, you can again receive pension benefits based upon your former spouse’s wartime service if the new marriage was annulled or declared void or you fall within the divorce and death exception window, January 1, 1971, through October 31, 1990.