What to know about Virginia widows’ pensions
Navy veteran Elizabeth Wurster, 81, died of lung cancer at her home in Virginia in July.
The veteran’s family is calling on Congress to provide her widows with a pension.
Wursters widow, Dora, was granted the VA’s widowhood pension in May 2018.
She had been serving as a full-time nurse at a Virginia nursing home.
The VA’s widows benefit was first approved in 2010, and it was intended to be paid out in a lump sum of $1,000 per month.
But in 2018, the VA decided to end the payment, saying it could not provide the widows widows pensions.
In an op-ed for USA Today, Wursts widow said the VA should pay her widowhood and VA’s pension, which was originally scheduled to be made out in 2018.
“I am not the only one that is struggling to afford my pension,” she said.
“Our widows benefits are being eliminated every year, and we cannot afford to leave this country until Congress acts.”
The VA also announced it was ending the VA widowhood, but not her VA pension.
That pension was paid out as a lump-sum payment of $6,000 a month starting in 2018 and ending in 2022.
The widowhood benefit was initially approved in 2009, but the VA said in an August 2018 news release that the VA needed more time to determine its eligibility and that “we have not yet received the required federal funds to fund the benefit.”
The widow’s widow also noted that Wurst was in a nursing home at the time of her death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.