VA Loan Guarantee Program – Loans for Surviving Military Spouses
The VA Loan Guarantee Program provides benefits to veterans and active service members, as well as current or former members of the Reserves and the National Guard. Another group of individuals who may be eligible for a VA Loan include surviving military spouses of those killed in the line of duty. The first step towards obtaining any VA home loan is to request a Certificate of Eligibility, which is available online through an automated system. Many VA-approved lenders will help with this form as well. However, spouses will need to request a slightly different form, the Form 26-1817. This is the Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility for Unmarried Surviving Spouses.
The time it takes to process this request will depend on a couple of factors. For surviving spouses of a veteran who died during service, it will take about two weeks to process this request. The same holds true if the veteran died after service and deemed to be connected to military service. However, if the post-service death has not yet been determined to be service-related, the processing time may take a little bit longer. It’s important to weigh this processing time when planning to buy a home using the VA Loan Guarantee Program.
The form itself is fairly self-explanatory, asking for basic information about the surviving spouse as well as the deceased veteran. Some of this information will include the following:
- Name, address, and telephone number of surviving spouse
- Birth date of surviving spouse
- Military service number or SSN of deceased veteran
- Deceased veteran’s branch of service
- Deceased veteran’s date of death
- Deceased veteran’s military service dates
- Any information on past use of the VA Loan Guarantee Program
The surviving spouse must be unmarried to qualify for this benefit, and will need to sign and date the form.
If you are a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran and have used the VA Loan Guarantee Program in the past, you will also need to detail this information on your application. Surviving spouses must enter the location of the VA Regional Office that they received benefits from. Evidence must be provided of the deceased veteran’s military service. You may be asked to provide a copy of the Report of Casualty, your Marriage Certificate, and the veteran’s Death Certificate. The documentation needed may vary depending on the type of case and whether the veteran died during or after his or her time of service.