Muriel was panicking. A widow for the past 10 years, she had recently depleted the savings from her late husband’s retirement account and was having trouble making ends meet. Her own health was dwindling and she felt she would soon need some extra help around the house. She had always been very self-sufficient, but realized it was time to get some help figuring out her options.

She went to her local Senior Center and met with a social worker there. The social worker was very attentive, listening actively as Muriel detailed her struggles. The social worker then explored various state and local benefits and assistance options with Muriel. Muriel was happy to have someone to talk to and gathered some good information, but she still had some concerns.

What the social worker didn’t know was that Muriel’s late husband served in the Korean War and because of that, Muriel was entitled to a survivor benefit through the Veterans Administration. The addition of another, little-known benefit would have made all the difference.

Had the social worker ASKED THE QUESTION: “Have you (or a family member) ever served in the military?” that would have opened the door to other VA-related resources and benefits and saved Muriel additional hardship.

Download PDF