38 U.S. Code § 1102 - Special provisions relating to surviving spouses

(a) No compensation shall be paid to the surviving spouse of a veteran under this chapter unless such surviving spouse was married to such veteran—
(1) before the expiration of fifteen years after the termination of the period of service in which the injury or disease causing the death of the veteran was incurred or aggravated; or
(2) for one year or more; or
(3) for any period of time if a child was born of the marriage, or was born to them before the marriage.
(b) Subsection (a) shall not be applicable to any surviving spouse who, with respect to date of marriage, could have qualified as a surviving spouse for death compensation under any law administered by the Secretary in effect on December 31, 1957.


(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1119, § 302; Pub. L. 86–491, June 8, 1960, 74 Stat. 161; Pub. L. 90–77, title I, § 101(a),Aug. 31, 1967, 81 Stat. 178; Pub. L. 94–433, title IV, § 404(2)–(4), Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1378; renumbered § 1102 and amended Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 4(a)(1), 5(a),Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403, 406.)

1991—Pub. L. 102–83, § 5(a), renumbered section 302 of this title as this section.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(1), substituted “administered by the Secretary” for “administered by the Veterans’ Administration”.
1976—Pub. L. 94–433, § 404(4), substituted “surviving spouses” for “widows” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–433, § 404(2), substituted “surviving spouse of a veteran under this chapter unless such surviving spouse was married to such veteran” for “widow of a veteran under this chapter unless she was married to him”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–433, § 404(3), substituted “surviving spouse” for “widow” in two places.
1967—Subsec. (a)(2), (3). Pub. L. 90–77qualified widow of a veteran for receipt of compensation by reducing in par. (2) the requisite marriage period from five years to one year and by making her eligible for benefits in par. (3) in event of antenuptial birth.
1960—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 86–491substituted “fifteen years” for “ten years”.
Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–433effective Oct. 1, 1976, see section 406 ofPub. L. 94–433, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1967 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 90–77effective first day of first calendar month which begins more than ten days after Aug. 31, 1967, see section 405 ofPub. L. 90–77, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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38 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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