Survivor's Benefits

Survivors Pension

The Survivors Pension benefit, which may also be referred to as Death Pension, is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.


The deceased Veteran must have met the following service requirements:

•For service on or before September 7, 1980, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, with at least one day during a war time period. 

•If he or she entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty with at least one day during a war time period

Was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.

Survivors Pension is also based on your yearly family income, which must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify.

While an un-remarried spouse is eligible at any age, a child of a deceased wartime Veteran must be:

•Under 18, OR

•Under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school, OR

•Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18

Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Survivors Pension benefit. Learn more about income and net worth limitation, and see an example of how VA calculates the Survivors Pension benefit. 


Aid & Attendance and Housebound

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension. Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.

Aid & Attendance (A&A)

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:

• You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment

• You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment

• You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity

• Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the     visual field to 5 degrees or less


This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability. 



Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Servicemembers who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. Parents DIC is an income-based benefit for parents who were financially dependent on of a Servicemember or Veteran who died from a service-related cause.

Burial Benefits

VA burial allowances are flat rate monetary benefits that are generally paid at the maximum amount

authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. A VA regulation change in 2014

simplified the program to pay eligible survivors quickly and efficiently. Eligible surviving spouses of

record are paid automatically upon notification of a Veteran’s death, without the need to submit a

claim. VA may grant additional benefits, including the plot or internment allowance and transportation allowance, if it receives a claim for these benefits.



- Copy of Veterans DD 214/Discharge Papers

- Copy of Marriage License for Surviving Spouse

- Copy of Birth Certificate for Surviving Child (Must be under age of 18 or 18-23 in school)

- Copy of Veterans Death Certificate

- Proof of Net Worth (Bank Statements, Portfolios, Ownership of Properties other than Personal Home, etc.)

- Proof of Income (Social Security Award Letters, Social Security Summary of Benefits Statement, Check Stubs, Bank Statements Showing Direct Deposit into Accounts)

- Proof of Out of Pocket Medical Expenses (Doctor Bills, Medication Co-pay Printouts, Receipts) 

- Proof of Funeral Expenses (copy of receipts)