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My dad was in the Army in 1944 or 1945. My parents were divorced and my mother never remarried.

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I believe that she is eligible. If she can find any record of the marriage and of his service. She will need his SS number and that should start the ball rolling. My father had been dead over 40 years when we filed for my mother. We got full benefits.
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Marymember, the answer is complicated.

Heath care: As a veteran, your husband is eligible for VA health care. The question is whether not he has to pay for it ($15 for primary care, $50 per specialist visit, prescription co-pays). It's based on a priority system that has to do with the level of "service connected disabilities" your husband has and otherwise his annual income. More disabilties, especially with a combined rating over 50%, can mean more care if the social workers we spoke with were correct. At the 50% point, all VA health care is free. If he's 70% or greater combined rating, he's eligible for federal VA nursing home.

VA Disability: If your husband has any of the list of "presumed diseases" from Agent Orange:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/

then you should file for VA disability through your local VA Regional Office. The top ones men of his age typically have are DMII and ischemic heart disease. If he has them and his DD-214 or service records say he was on the ground in Vietnam even as a stop over, these dieases are connected to his time in service, e.g. "service connected." (If any Navy or Coast Guard vets are reading this, there is a list of ships which are presumed to have been exposed as well.)

Alzheimer's disease is not a presumed to have been from contact with Agent Orange per the approved list. To get more care and money through the VA, you'll have to go after the conditions he does have that are on the list of presumed diseases. If he has any lingering injuries from his time in the service, those all get lumped in.

There is a process to pursue this, and it can be daunting. You may need the help of what's called a Veterans Service Organization like the ones in our posting above. While these are not always all they are cracked up to be, you can get free help. You can also obtain assistance from an attorney who specializes in veterans' disability claims, but that will cost you money.

VA pension: Those ineligible for VA disability and then free medical care through the VA can still get financial assistance paying for care through the pension process. We're not as familiar with this aspect as we looked at it then decided to go another route. But, if your husband makes less than the threshold amount, which is reduced by the amount of monthly medical expenses he pays for care (insurance, prescriptions, in home care out of pocket, etc), the VA will make up the difference to the threshold amount. That's all we really know about it. You may need a Veterans Service Organization to purse this.

Personally, we recommend you pursue the disability route. Most Vietnam vets carry a lot of diseases that can be tied to Agent Orange exposure. The VA can provide in home care for those who require it, but if there's any kind of priority wait list, it will be based on the combined rating disability.

Hope this helps!
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This is a topic I am interested in, since my husband has Alzheimers and he flew behind the airplanes spraying Agent Orange. They tell me at V.A, he cannot get benefits from being directly in contact with Agent Orange. That seems to me to be untrue, so I will have to do more research unless one of you can help me. Marymember
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You might want to give the Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW or any other group like that for advice and assistance. Each of these groups have National Service Officers to assist with questions and issues like these.
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It depends on her income and how long they were married. I think they had to be married 10 years or more for her to be entitled to any military benefits. I'm not sure if he had to be in service during the 10+ years or not. It would be a good question for the VA representative.
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If she has more than $80,000 in assets she is not eligible. Contact the local VA Benefits office and they can answer your questions.
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Its worth looking into! My mother has Tricare from her deceased husband. Its great insurance. There is also veterans assistance for assisted living costs but there is a maximum net worth and income they are allowed to have in order to collect it. I would check into it.
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Check with the VA. Does she have a copy of his discharge records? I remember having to provide those.
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I doubt it, because VA wanted proof of mom's marriage when we applied. She had been married three times, all were WWII vets, but VA was only interested in the last one, and wanted his death certificate too.
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