Survivor Benefits

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
For a survivor to be eligible for DIC, the veteran’s death must have resulted from one of the following causes:

  1. A disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on active duty.
  2. An injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty training.
  3. A service-connected disability or condition directly related to a service-connected disability.

OR

If the veteran was:

  1. Continuously rated totally disabled for a period of 10 years immediately preceding death.
  2. Continuously rated totally disabled from the date of military discharge and for at least five years immediately preceding death.
  3. Or a former POW who died after Sept 30, 1999, and who was continuously rated totally disabled for a period of at least one year immediately preceding death.

ChampVA
To be eligible for ChampVA you must be one of the following:

  • The spouse or child of a veteran who VA has rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability
  • The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who died from a VA-rated service-connected disability, or who, at the time of death, was rated permanently and totally disabled.
  • The surviving spouse or child of a service member who died in the line of duty

Educational Assistance
The VA provides education assistance to the spouse or child of a service member who either died of a service-connected disability or who has a permanent and total service-connected disability, or who died while such a disability existed.

Widow's Pension
The VA provides pensions to low-income surviving spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime service.

To be eligible, spouses must not have remarried and children must be under age 18, or 23 if attending a VA approved school, or have become permanently incapable of self-support because of disability before age 18.

The veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and must have had 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war, or a service-connected disability justifying discharge. Longer periods of service may be required for veterans who entered active duty on or after Sept 8, 1980, or Oct 16, 1981, if an officer. If the veteran died in service but not in the line of duty, the death pension may be payable if the veteran had completed at least two years of honorable service.