How Long Do You Have to Be Married to a Veteran to Get Benefits

The length of time you have to be married to be qualified for spousal benefits depends on several factors. However, in most cases, having a marriage of over a year should be enough for getting the benefits.

If you are a veteran or their spouse, you may be wondering how long your marriage period should be for accessing VA benefits. The answer to this question varies depending on the type of benefits, which we will discuss in this blog.

CHAMPVA Benefits

To be qualified for the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), you do not have to meet any marriage duration. With CHAMPVA, you can be entitled to the following benefits –

  • Ambulance service
  • Durable medical equipment (DME)
  • Family planning and maternity
  • Hospice
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Pharmacy
  • Transplants
  • Inpatient services
  • Mental health services
  • Ambulatory surgery
  • Outpatient services

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a monthly payment except from taxes for the spouse or surviving family members of veterans who have low income. To be eligible for this benefit, you have to be married to the veteran for at least 1 year before their death. However, if you have a child with the deceased veteran, you may be eligible for benefits regardless of the length of your marriage. 

Survivors Pension

Similar to DIC, survivor pension is given to spouses who were married to qualified veterans for at least 1 year before their death or had a child with the veteran, in which case, there is no required duration of the marriage.

Survivors pension is a monthly payment program for dependents of wartime veterans.

Home Loan Programs

Home loan programs assist spouses of qualified veterans in obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility. You will be eligible for this benefit as soon as you legally marry a veteran.

Education and Training Benefits

Education and training benefits allow you to get scholarships, job training, and tuition assistance, and as a spouse, you can be eligible for such benefits as soon as you get married to a qualified veteran

These are the possible programs you may be eligible for under education benefits –

  • Transferred education benefits
  • Fry scholarship
  • Defense education assistance
  • Other VA education benefits


As you can see, for some benefits, you may be eligible as soon as you are legally married. While in other cases, you may be required to be married for at least a year. If you are struggling to receive certain benefits or are unaware of the claiming process, the experts at VA Disability Coach can help you prepare your application.