Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.
First and foremost, the will (if there is one) controls what you will receive from your father's estate. Even if the will was old and needed updating, it will control. So if there is a will, hopefully it is found and filed with the probate court.
If there is no will, then Kentucky law mandates that your step-mother would inherit 50% of your father's estate, and you and your brother would inherit the other 50% (i.e., you and your brother would each receive 25%). The estate is made up of all property that your father owned when he passed, which, unfortunately, means that it is unlikely that you'd be entitled to VA benefits or hazardous duty retirement. It's possible that your step-mother would be entitled those benefits as your father's widow. In any event, since those are outside the estate, they have nothing to do with the probate code or the will, and would come directly from the VA or state. Accordingly, you can inquire with the VA and state about the possibility of receiving such benefits (though I doubt it).
The important thing at this point is that somebody opens a probate estate. If that hasn't been done, then you should visit the local probate court with a certified copy of the death certificate, and ask the court clerk to open an estate.
Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.