- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My husband was a Vietnam War veteran. He was awarded a rating of 100 percent service in 2002. The award letter he received listed the benefits to which he and his family were entitled.

After his death last June, I went to the Veterans’ Association website to apply for widow benefits. At that time, I discovered he was entitled to a term life insurance policy of $10,000. He did not need to make premium payments for this benefit amount. He could, however, have applied for additional term life and paid an affordable monthly premium.

After I discovered this, I contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). I was told that since he hadn’t applied before his death I was not entitled to the life insurance benefits. I responded that he had never been told about these benefits. The VA responded by saying he could have accessed the VA website or contacted the regional VA office in our area.

My husband was never told to research these or other benefits for which he might qualify. How was he to know? My husband did not use the Internet; he was not computer literate. I have contacted my local congressional representatives and they have been unable to help. They make inquiries, are denied and then tell me they have no authority over the VA.

How many other disabled veterans and their families have been denied this benefit simply because they did not know about it?


Marysville, Wash.

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