Veterans and their spouses in Florida could qualify for new VA benefits. The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act of 2020 brings several changes to VA benefits.
Medal of Honor pension for surviving spouses
Surviving spouses could receive their spouse’s Medal of Honor pension. Those who receive Dependency Indemnity Compensation aren’t eligible for this benefit, however.
Transportation of a veteran’s remains
Previously, veterans’ benefits would pay to transport a veteran’s remains to a national veteran cemetery. The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act expanded upon this benefit to cover the costs of transporting a deceased veteran’s remains to state and tribal veteran cemeteries.
Free headstone or urn
Most veterans could get a free headstone after their death. The 2020 legislation expanded upon this benefit to give veterans the choice between a free headstone or free urn. Veterans can also have their spouse’s name engraved on their headstone for free if they are in a state or private cemetery. Deaths going back to Oct. 1, 2019, could claim this benefit.
Home loans for National Guard members
Before the passing of this legislation, only active-duty National Guard members could get a VA home loan. Effective at the beginning of 2021, National Guard members who don’t have active-duty service could apply for a VA home loan. They must have completed 30 consecutive days of service to apply.
The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act requires the VA to offer all veterans under the age of 81 life insurance by 2023. The limit for payouts was set at $40,000 for the start of the program. Unlike the Veterans Group Life Insurance, there is no time limit for veterans to sign up for this life insurance option.
If you or your spouse is a veteran, you may be able to take advantage of one of these expansions on veterans’ benefits. It’s worth looking into the option to see if you qualify.