The surviving spouses of veteran who served during wars receive a disability income from the Veterans Benefit Administration. This particular benefit is formally called a pension however it is most commonly known as veterans aid and attendance pension benefit. Veterans aging below 65 years old need to provide a proof of full disability to get this pension benefit, on the other hand, 65 years and above are not required to.

The pension available for surviving spouses which is called death pension, is lesser although it is still based on the same rules for a living pension claim. In other words, so that the surviving spouse will receive a lesser amount, the veteran must meet all the necessary requirements for pension or has been receiving pension unless he is over 65 years of age or totally disabled. Also, it is required for the spouse to stay single so she can keep receiving the pension.

A claim is submitted by the veteran or his surviving spouse, in case of a death claim. On behalf of the veteran or his spouse, there are other people who can submit the claim like a duly appointed service organization, a VA approved agent, or a an employee of the local regional VA office. The veteran is required to sign a document that authorizes a power of attorney for someone to file a claim on behalf of him. If the veteran is unable to submit the claim or sign a power of attorney for a third person to file a claim, then a duly authorized guardian can complete the application. Furthermore, a friend, spouse, or a parent can also file and complete the application on behalf of an incompetent veteran as long as he or she will bring with him or her a power of attorney proving authority and will indicate that the veteran is incompetent for financial affairs.

The effective date is typically on the day the VA receives an application. The process of approval usually takes three to six months, but it does not really matter since the effective date always reverts back to the day the original application was received.

The payment typically begins on the first day of the month after the month of the effective date. This implies that if it took six months to complete the approval process, then a minimum of five months of benefit must be paid retroactively. The VA necessitates an automatic deposit of awards for savings or checking accounts.

There are accrued benefits for veterans if ever they will die while filing the application, before it was approved. An accrued benefits payable will arise if the regional office finds out that they already have the information necessary to approve the application. Read more on Senior Veterans Care Network.

Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veteran