VA Benefits for Surviving Spouses and Dependents

VA Benefits for Surviving Spouses and Dependents

surviving spouse
Spouses and dependent children of veterans may already qualify for a number of healthcare, insurance, and money benefits while the veteran is alive, but surviving spouses and dependent children may be eligible for more benefits and compensation when the veteran passes away.

Three critical forms of survivors benefits include monthly payments, pensions, and health insurance. Other benefits include educational assistance, home loans, and burial assistance.

 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) is a monthly tax-free monetary benefit available to surviving spouses, dependent children, and parents of a deceased veteran. The monthly base rate for surviving spouses for veterans who have died on or after January 1, 1993 is $1,437.66 with added amounts based on your circumstances. For instance, if the veteran was totally disabled for 8 years prior to death and you lived with them for the whole period, or if you are affected by a disability, or you have dependent children under 18, you may qualify for more compensation.

To qualify, a spouse must satisfy certain requirements. You must first be be married to veteran without break up to the time of death, or if separated, not be at fault. You must also have been married to the veteran within 15 years of discharge from service when the veteran’s qualifying illness or injury occurred, be married for at least one year, or had a child with the veteran.

Children qualify if they are not married, are excluded from the spouse’ compensation, and are under 18 (or 23 if in school).

Survivors Pension

A survivors pension is available to surviving spouses and dependent children of wartime veterans who meet income and net worth limits set by Congress.

Surviving spouses qualify if they have not remarried after the veteran’s death, the veteran was not dishonorably discharged, and the veteran satisfies one of the following requirements:

  • Entered active duty on or before September 7, 1980 and served at least 90 days with at least 1 day during a covered wartime period
  • Entered active duty after September 7, 1980 and served at least 24 months with at least 1 day during a covered wartime period
  • Veteran was an officer who began active duty after October 16, 1981 and hadn’t served on active duty for at least 24 months

Recognized wartime periods include the Mexican Border period, World War I, World War II, Korean conflict, Vietnam War era, and the Gulf War.

CHAMPVA Health Insurance

CHAMPVA stands for Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It provides health insurance for surviving spouses and dependents who don’t qualify for TRICARE, which is the Department of Defense’s insurance plan for active-duty and retired service members and their families. This program helps cover the costs of some healthcare services and supplies.

To qualify, you must first be ineligible for TRICARE, and satisfy one of the following requirements listed on the VA website:

  • You’re the spouse or child of a Veteran who’s been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office, or
  • You’re the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who died from a VA-rated service-connected disability, or
  • You’re the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who was at the time of death rated permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability, or
  • You’re the surviving spouse or child of a service member who died in the line of duty, not due to misconduct (in most of these cases, family members qualify for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).

Assistance with your claim

If you qualify as a survivor of a deceased veteran, you are entitled to a number of kinds of compensation that are critical for your standard of living and growth. To ensure that you are able to get the benefits you deserve, contact VA Disability Group at 844-VET-LAWS now.