Can a deceased first husband’s VA benefits be reinstated if their wife’s second marriage is annulled?

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2011

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Can a deceased first husband’s VA benefits be reinstated if their wife’s second marriage is annulled?

My mother-in-law’s first husband was a vet and died of cancer after 40 years of marriage. She re-married and then her second husband also died of cancer after 10 years of marriage; he however was not a vet. If 2nd marriage annulled could she get vet spouse benefits? Could she have her 2nd marriage annulled and then receive veterans spousal benefits (from the first husband)? She’s in her 80’s, poor health, gets less than 1k a month in SS to live on. With her health declining she can’t live on her own very much longer. Options?

Asked on April 23, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I applaud you for attempting to think "outside the box" I do not think that the approach you have come up with will work.  If your Mother in Law was entitled to spousal benefits through the VA then remarrying would have cut off those benefits and I do not think that annulling the second marriage reinstates the benefits.  Is it possible to look in to applying for medicaid?  Certain states have certain types of medicaid benefits that allow you to exempt your home and qualify for aid.  In New York it is called Community Medicaid.  Try speaking with any groups in your area that help the elderly.  Good luck to you.

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