Veterans benefits for survivors
Veterans benefits for surviving family members may be available. There are several veterans benefits payable to a deceased veteran's surviving spouse. One benefit is also available for the surviving, low-income parents of certain veterans. These survivors benefits include:
- Death pension. A veteran's spouse who has a very low income may qualify for a pension, as long as she didn't remarry. The veteran must have had 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which -- combat or not -- was during a period of war. The pension can be up to $625 per month, depending on financial need. The amount can go higher for a surviving spouse who is housebound or who needs regular in-home assistance.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). A DIC pension of at least $1,091 a month, and more than twice that much for some, is available for the surviving spouse of certain veterans. DIC benefits are also available to the surviving parents of these veterans if the parents have a very low income.
- For a survivor to qualify for DIC payments, the deceased veteran must have met one of the following requirements:
- Died while on active duty
- Died from an injury or disease incurred while on active duty or on inactive duty training, or
- Had a 100 percent-rated service-connected disability for ten years prior to death, or for five years from date of discharge to death