View Full Version : CHAMPVA Policy for Some Surviving Spouses Extended

04-02-04, 10:44 AM
CHAMPVA Policy for Some Surviving Spouses Extended

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2004) - An extended deadline will allow more time for
some remarried surviving spouses of veterans to seek health care insurance
under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans
Affairs (CHAMPVA).

"I am pleased that this extension will allow VA to provide health care
benefits to more widows and widowers of veterans," said Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi. "This is another illustration of VA's
long-term commitment, not only to veterans, but also to their surviving
family members."

The extension applies to CHAMPVA-eligible spouses who remarry after a
veteran's death. The surviving husband or wife lost access to CHAMPVA
benefits if they remarried before their 55th birthday and before Feb. 4,

Under rules announced last March, those survivors had until Feb. 4, 2004, to
apply for reinstatement of their CHAMPVA coverage. Today's announcement
gives them until Dec. 16, 2004, to apply for reinstatement.

To be eligible for CHAMPVA, people must be family members of veterans who
have a permanent and total service-connected disability, who died of a
service-connected condition or who were totally disabled from a
service-connected condition at the time of death.

In general, CHAMPVA covers most health care services and supplies that are
medically and psychologically necessary.
People who want an application for this benefit or more information can
contact VA's Health Administration Center at 800-733-8387.

Surviving spouses who remarry at a younger age and lose their CHAMPVA
benefits can have these benefits restored if their later marriage is
annulled or ends due to death or divorce. Similarly, widows or widowers of
any age who lost benefits under VA's Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
(DIC) program due to remarriage are eligible for reinstatement of monthly
DIC payments if their subsequent marriage ends.

This restoration policy has been in effect since 1998, but VA officials are
concerned widows or widowers may overlook this benefit if a subsequent
marriage ends years later. VA's average payment to surviving spouses is
about $12,720, including adjustments for minor children, survivors who are
housebound or who need a home aide, and other factors.