VA Financial Benefits for Survivors

VA survivor benefits are available to the surviving spouses and dependents of a deceased veteran with wartime service. Benefits include survivor’s pension,  life insurance and more.

Understanding what you are entitled to receive can help you to immediately access the assistance you might need at an otherwise very difficult time. Whether you are researching these benefit options for yourself as a service member or as the surviving spouse or child of a service member, make sure you understand all the options at your disposal.

Veterans survivor benefits can include various components and varying levels of compensation or coverage, depending on the different programs and choices made. VA widow benefits can help financially in a time of need and difficulty though, so it is better to understand all of these options in advance just in case the worst should happen. Take the time to review all the survivor benefits below and then be sure to research each. These VA benefits for a surviving spouse can make all the difference if the worst happens, so do your research and ask questions early on so you do not need to worry about any of these details if the time comes to apply for assistance.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

VA DIC, or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, can help the eligible surviving spouse and dependents of a service member who dies in the line of duty or of a veteran who dies as the result of a service-related injury or disease. This benefit is designed to support loved ones of a service member and must be understood in order to access that financial compensation according to VA standards and requirements. There are very specific requirements to qualify as the surviving spouse or as a surviving dependent child of a service member or veteran, so be sure you review each of those requirements.

Related Article: Veterans Pension Rates

DIC benefits are tax-free, but you do need to submit the appropriate application and supporting documentation, if necessary, in order to obtain the assistance. VA DIC benefits must be applied for in person, by mail or by fax, unless the service member died while on active duty, in which case the military will assist with organizing all benefits and compensation.

Since military survivor benefits are designed to help the loved ones of a deceased service member or veteran, it is important that the service member or veteran understands all of the available benefits and conveys that important information to the appropriate potential benefactors. Failing to understand all of the options and the assistance that could be available will only make the situation more difficult should the worst-case scenario happen. 

VA Survivors Pension

The VA survivors pension, sometimes also referred to as the death pension, is a tax-free monetary benefit provided to eligible surviving spouses or dependent children of a veteran. The VA death pension helps low-income surviving spouses who have not remarried, as well as unmarried children under a certain age. Understanding the eligibility criteria for this pension and how to access that financial assistance can help your loved ones to more efficiently get the help they need.

The widows pension VA program only applies to those surviving spouses who have not remarried, so keep that in mind and make sure that you understand the financial implications of such a change in marital status. Additionally, the veterans pension for widows can support the child dependents of the deceased, but only up to certain ages and under specific conditions. Make sure you research the full rules and limitations so you and your family can plan accordingly should the need for assistance arise.

VA Life Insurance

Veterans life insurance includes many variations that can each offer the coverage you might need and want. VA life insurance is not to be overlooked and you should ensure that you understand all your options and plan accordingly. With several options to choose from, doing the research to understand how to choose is very important. The following are available options:

  • Service members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Family Service members’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Service members’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
  • Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance (S-DVI)
  • Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

Military life insurance can offer the coverage your spouse and dependents will need if the worst-case scenario happens. A VA life insurance claim can help financially support your loved ones at a time of need, so that you know they will be well cared for and supported. Given the incredible risks, you are undertaking in your service, you deserve to know that your family will have options. The insurance plan you choose is up to you, since there are several levels and types available. Just be sure to review all the details so you choose the right option for you and your family.

VA Burial Benefits

VA burial benefits are designed to help your family to afford the burial you deserve, whether as a result of a service-related death or not. Veterans burial benefits can help to cover all or at least part of the funeral costs your family might incur. There are stipulations to the eligibility for such benefits. Be sure you review and understand your burial needs so that you know how your family can qualify and receive such assistance if the need arises.

Veterans funeral benefits do not only apply to service-related deaths, so it is also important to understand the options available under any circumstances. However, there are also specific circumstances under which the VA burial benefit will not be paid, so you should make sure to review those and make plans accordingly. Researching these details well in advance of needing them can help you to make decisions and access assistance when you need it without having to also learn all of the potential options or risk missing out on certain benefits and assistance. Additional assistance with your burial benefits, including how to access veteran markers or headstones, can be addressed to the National Cemetery Administration.

Related Article: Eligibility for VA Disability Compensation

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