NU Online News Service, March 13, 2003, 11:35 a.m. EST – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says a new law should help some surviving spouses of military personnel get coverage through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The change affects people who once qualified for CHAMPVA health benefits because they were married to veterans who died of a service-connected condition or were totally disabled by a service-connected condition.

In the past, some of those spouses lost their CHAMPVA benefits when they remarried.

The new law allows reinstatement for widows and widowers who remarried after age 55 before Feb. 4, 2003.

To get new benefits, the surviving spouses must apply for reinstatement by Feb. 4, 2004, the Veterans Department says.