There is a "VA funding fee" required by law. A first-time buyer will pay a little over two percent for a 'no money down' loan, and a second time buyer's fee is just above three percent. The reason for the fee includes the idea that the veteran is reducing taxpayer burden by contributing to the cost of his VA mortgage. There is also a fee for VA refinance loans, and they fall within the same general price guidelines; just above two percent for first-timers and just above three percent for those who borrow again.
While there is a funding fee for a VA home loan, some people are exempt from paying. If you are a veteran getting disability compensation for service-related medical issues, or are entitled to get compensation if you aren't drawing retirement pay, you are exempt from the VA funding fee for your VA home loan. Also, surviving spouses of those who died in the service, or from service related disabilities are also exempt. It doesn't matter in this case whether the spouse has any of their own entitlements. Remember that the VA has the last word on who is exempt, and some issues may be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If you have any doubts, ask your local VA rep to review your service records (or your spouse's records) and get a determination from the VA.