Family Member Benefits

Death Pension

What is Survivors' (Death) Pension? Survivors' (Death) Pension is a needs based benefit paid to an un-remarried surviving spouse, or an unmarried child, who meets certain age or disability requirements, of a qualified deceased wartime Veteran.

There are a number of criteria that may affect your eligibility to pension benefits. If you are unsure if you meet all criteria, we encourage you to contact our office to discuss your income and assets. Un-reimbursed medical expenses may lower your annual income and help provide eligibility. Often surviving spouses use this benefit to assist in payment of an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home Fees.

Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of:

  • Military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a non-service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service connected disability that was rated as totally disabling:
    • For at least 10 years immediately before death
    • Since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death
    • For at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999

Surviving spouses of in-country Vietnam Vets should review the Agent Orange Exposure List. If your spouse’s cause of death was one of the diseases on that list you should file a claim for DIC.

Emergency Financial Assistance

Surviving spouses and or minor children may be eligible for Emergency Financial Assistance.

Other Benefits

On a very limited basis, surviving family members may be eligible for other benefits such as education, medical coverage, and home loans. This varies case by case, and is determined by the VA.