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Perhaps. Do you know what the monthly stipend was being called or treated as?
If it was Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), then it should not need to be recouped or paid back unless there was an overpayment, or should have been offset by a survivor benefits plan or something else.
To answer your question specifically, without knowing what the payments were, if there wasn't an overpayment, and the person was eligible to receive the payments, there is no legal basis for taking the money back.
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