Family, Survivor Benefits and Resources
There are many possible benefits available to survivors including:
- Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
- Parents DIC
- Education and Training
- Education Program Refund
- Home Loan Guarantee
- Health Care
- Life Insurance Proceeds
- Commissary and Exchange Privileges
Survivors married to the veteran at the time of death, as well as eligible dependents, may be buried in national veterans cemeteries and certain state cemeteries. Eligible family members may be buried there even if they predecease the veteran.
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
A burial allowance may be paid to help offset expenses of the Veteran’s funeral and burial. The allowance is payable for a Veteran who:
- Died of a service-connected disability, or
- Were in receipt of compensation or pension or retired pay in lieu thereof, or
- Died in a VA facility
If not buried in a national cemetery, a plot allowance may be payable for veterans who:
- Were discharged for disability incurred or aggravated int he line of duty, or
- Were in receipt of compensation or pension, or retired pay in lieu thereof, or
- Died in a VA facility
Most Veterans, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible for burial in one of VA’s national cemeteries at no cost to the family. Many states have veterans cemeteries built with VA grants, with similar benefits.
VA provides a headstone or marker for veterans buried in any cemetery worldwide.
An American flag is provided to drape the casket or accompany the urn of an eligible Veteran. The flag is presented to the veteran’s next of kin upon burial.
Family and other loved ones may request these personalized certificates.
CHAMPVA is a program in which the VA pays for certain healthcare services to the spouse or widow(er) and to the children of a veteran who:
- is totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected disability or
- died as a result of a service-connected disability or who at the time of death was rated as totally permanently disabled or
- died while in active duty status (includes periods of inactive duty for training) and in the line of duty, not due to misconduct
For more information contact CHAMP VA, PO Box 469028, Denver, CO 80206 or call 1-800-733-8387
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
DIC is a monthly benefit paid to unmarried surviving spouses and dependent children of service-members who die during active military service, or Veterans who:
- Die after military service because of a service-connected disability or
- Were receiving or entitled to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling:
- for at least 10 years immediately preceding death or
- since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death or
- for at least one year immediately preceding death if the veteran was a former POW.
This is a monthly benefit paid to parents of veterans who die in service or as a result of a service-connected disability. There are qualifying income limits and the amount payable varies based on the parents’ other income.
Death pension is a monthly benefit paid to unmarried surviving spouses and dependent children of wartime veterans whose death is not due to a service-connected disability. There are qualifying income limits and the amount payable varies based on the amount of other income.
Education and Training
Education and training benefits are available to unmarried surviving spouses and dependent children of:
- Service members who die during active military service or
- Veterans who die of a service-connected disability or
- Veterans who were rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability at the time of death.
There are time limits for use of this benefit. A surviving spouse has 10 years from the date that eligibility is established, but 20 years if the veteran died while in active duty. Children are eligible from age 18-26. Educational and vocational counseling, and employing as a work-study student, are also available.
Home Loan Guarantee
The unmarried surviving spouse of veteran whose death was service connected is generally eligible for this program. VA guarantees loans to purchase a home, including a condominium or manufactured home, or to refinance an existing home loan.
The Civilian Heath and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) provides coverage for unmarried surviving spouses and children of veterans who:
- died of a service-connected disability or
- were permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability at the time of death or
- died in service in the line of duty, and the dependents are not eligible for Department of Defense TRICARE benefits.
The veteran may have had an active life insurance policy with VA. Such policies include:
- United States Government Life Insurance
- Veterans Service Life Insurance
- National Service Life Insurance
- Veterans Reopened Insurance
- Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
- Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance
- Service members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans Group Life Insurance
Free financial counseling is available to SGLI and VGLI beneficiaries.
Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)
SOS’ mission is to delivery on the Army’s commitment to families of the fallen. Services are provided to all surviving family members regardless of Army component, cause or location of Soldiers’ death.
We assist with:
- Working with the casualty assistance officer to provide resources immediately following death
- Serving as the Army’s long-term casualty support
- Providing services closest to where the survivor resides, regardless of the component of the deceased, for as long as a survivor desires
- A variety of support and financial counselors
On line Tutoring - for Children and Career Assistance
Military Spouse Career Center – employment
Military Spouse Employment Program – employment
Military Spouse Resource Center – assist with employment, education, scholarships (this also falls under employment and education)
Project Sanctuary – provides free retreat for the whole family.
United Services Organization – can assist with referrals, housing and emergency assistance
Veterans Holidays (discounted rates)