If you are in the unfortunate position of looking for what Death Benefits are covered by the VA – we are sorry. We’re here to help, but so sorry for your loss and that you are in this position. Here you’ll find information about Veteran Death Benefits and VA Home Loan Eligibility:
As part of the VA Death Benefits package, when a Veteran dies, the surviving spouse may be entitled to certain VA death benefits, including certain VA home loan benefits, any SGLI life insurance arrangement, military burial honors, disabled service member benefits and death pensions for war veterans.
Surviving spouses are eligible for VA home loans when, according to the VA, the veteran died on active duty or as a result of service-related disabilities. In the case of death on active duty, there’s no question as to the status of the veteran, but for “service-related disabilities” there are verification procedures which may be required. (here’s some more detailed on Surviving Spouse of a Disabled Veteran) Additionally, in NC unfortunately, Common Law marriage is not recognized for VA Home Loan Benefits.
The VA is clear about the fact that the “surviving spouse” will only qualify if they have not remarried. In other words, it’s only for Surviving Spouses who are unmarried. If you have remarried, the VA extends benefits for the spouse who remarries at or beyond their 57th birthday after December 16 2003. For Surviving Spouses who have remarried, but meet the “birthday requirement,” you would also qualify for a VA Home Loan 100% no money down benefit as well.
Another benefit for surviving spouses is the VA interest rate reduction refinance loan, also known as the IRRRL. This is for surviving spouses who took out a VA mortgage with the military member “prior to the time of death” according to the VA. There’s no Appraisal Requirements with this streamlined VA Refinance. The VA IRRRL can be financed with all costs built into the loan amount, making this an attractive benefit to those who may struggle to keep up with VA loan payments and other bills in the wake of a military spouse’s death.
Just like everything else involving the government, there’s paperwork involved to obtain these benefits. VA home mortgage loan eligibility for surviving spouses must be applied for – it is not automatically added. Applying for eligibility and the actual VA loan application process is similar to any other VA loan product, but you may experience a few additional requirements. Be prepared to furnish proof of death and disability where applicable along with any other document the VA or Bank Underwriter requires. Also you must apply for your certificate of eligibility (VA form 26-1880) through a specific branch office of the Veterans Administration:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
PO Box 20729
Winston-Salem, NC 27120
Unfortunately, the death benefit version of VA loan eligibility is limited only to the surviving spouse. Surviving children are not entitled to use the veteran’s VA home loan benefits.
We have years of experience helping Veterans and their Spouses Finance their homes! For more information about VA Mortgage LOANS, contact Steve and Eleanor Thorne Mortgage Banker in Cary , 919-649-5058