If your ancestor qualified for a military benefit (pension, bounty land, etc.) have you read the text of the act under which he qualified? There may have been certain service or age requirements that had to be met in order to qualify. The same is true if your ancestor's widow received a pension. Not all widows qualified and learning what widows did qualify under the act under which your ancestor applied may tell you something about your ancestor.
Assuming that they weren't lying on their application.