What If The Veterans Death Was Not Service Connected
If a veteran dies due to a non-service-connected condition, the spouse may still be able to secure DIC. In this situation, the spouse can file a claim for service connection for the veterans cause of death, and VA will go through a normal standard review process. During this process, VA will look at whether the veterans disability was in fact related to service.
Survivors & Dependents Education Benefits
Based on the veterans length and degree of service-related disability, or other qualifying factors for service members, educational benefits may be available to dependents and spouses who have not remarried.
Dependents must be between the ages of 18 and 26 to receive education benefits, though extensions may be granted.
Dependency And Indemnity Compensation
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a tax-free, monthly benefit paid to surviving spouses of veterans whose deaths were directly related to military service or to a service-connected condition. To qualify for the DIC VA death benefits for the spouse, veterans and service members must meet one of VAs criteria:
- The service member died while on active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training or
- The veteran passed away due to a service-connected condition or
- The veterans death was not service-related, but the veteran was entitled to receive VA disability compensation for a totally disabling condition :
- For a period of at least 10 years prior to their death or
- Since release from active duty and for a period of at least five years before their death or
- For at least one year prior to death if they were a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.
To prove eligibility for DIC, the spouse must establish service connection for the veterans cause of death, meaning the veterans service-connected disability was a principle or contributory cause of their passing.
Spouses of disabled veterans are typically eligible for DIC benefits if they were married to the veteran for at least one year prior to the veterans death. In certain situations, some surviving spouses may be eligible for additional DIC benefits if any of the following criteria are met:
How To Receive The Benefits As A Spouse
When your husband or wife is rated a 100% disability rating by the VA, sometimes, the VA disability compensation benefits will automatically include you. However, this is not the case in some situations, such as an income limit or net worth limit. The VA may only give you benefits once your application has been approved.
This process can take a while, given the time it takes to go over everything to make sure that you qualify. When approaching large applications like this, it is always best to have a team at your side.
When people go about this process alone, it can be challenging to know all the requirements for a particular application. It should not be as complicated as it is, but with our help at Berry Law, we can help you receive the benefits you deserve.
We will ensure that you provide all of the necessary information that the VA requires and guarantee that you get it in on time.
How Do I Get Help For A Veteran Whos In Crisis
If youre concerned about a Veteran in crisis, connect with our caring, qualified Veterans Crisis Line responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This service is private, free, and available 24/7.
To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime day or night:
- If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 800-799-4889.
If youre concerned about a Veteran whos homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
Call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You or the Veteran can talk privately with a trained VA counselor for free.
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Do Spouses Of 100% Disabled Veterans Get Benefits
Yes. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides many benefits to the spouses of veterans with a 100% disability. These benefits also include additional monthly compensation for vets with other dependents like children or parents. If your partner has such a disability rating, you can seek various VA benefits even after their death.
Whats A Survivor Benefit Plan
The Survivor Benefit Program is a voluntary annuity program that service members may buy as a retirement benefit for their family members. An annuity is a monthly payment received for life. Depending on their military service, members may use this program to buy a Survivor Benefit Plan or Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan .
We dont manage this program. Its managed by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service at the Department of Defense.
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Who Is Eligible For The Fry Scholarship
The Fry Scholarship is only available to children or surviving spouses of Veterans who meet one of the following qualifications:
- They were a member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty while still on active duty either on or after 9/11.
- They were a member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty while not on active duty on or after 9/11.
- They were a member of the selected reserve and died from a service-connected disability recorded in the VA either on or after 9/11.
If children apply for the Fry Scholarship, they may be married or unmarried. They may receive a Fry Scholarship if:
- They turn 18 or graduate from high school before January 1 of 2013. They may apply for the scholarship until they are 33 years old.
- They turn 18 or graduate high school after January 1 of 2013. These children may receive a Fry Scholarship at any age after they graduate.
- Their parent is a member of the selected reserve and died from a service-connected disability while not on active duty. Children who qualify here may receive a Fry Scholarship at any time, regardless of age.
- Their parent died in the line of duty before August 1 of 2011. They may qualify for both the Fry Scholarship and the DEA program, but only one program can be used at a time.
- They may not be receiving DIC payments from the VA if they intend to use the Fry Scholarship.
Spouses who intend to apply for the Fry Scholarship must keep the following considerations in mind:
Does It Matter If My Spouses Disabilities Are Temporary Or Permanent
No, it does not. VA Permanent and Total Ratings have different meanings. Just because a Veteran receives a disability rating of 100 percent, it may not indicate that the condition will be permanent.
Permanent means that the VA considers a disability to be permanent when the medical evidence shows the severity of the Veterans condition will continue for the rest of the Veterans life. If a disability is not considered permanent, it is called a temporary disability.
A 100% rated disability means that it is a total disability. Ratings are assigned to disabilities based on the VAs rating schedule.
Read Also: How Do I Prove My Disability To The Irs
Champva Benefits For Spouses
VA also provides health care insurance coverage for the spouses of certain totally disabled veterans under the Civilian Health and Medical Program, or CHAMPVA. For spouses to be eligible, the disabled veteran must meet one of the following criteria:
- Rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected condition
- Died on active duty, in line of duty
- Died from a service-connected disability or
- Was rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected condition at the time of death.
Importantly, to be eligible for CHAMPVA, spouses of disabled veterans cannot be eligible for TRICARE . CHAMPVA benefits are also extended to spouses ages 65 and older if certain eligibility requirements are met.
With CHAMPVA, spouses of disabled veterans will be covered for certain services and supplies . Examples of covered services include the following:
- Ambulance service
- Skilled nursing care
Essentially, CHAMPVA will cover the cost of any medical service that is deemed necessary for the dependents physical and mental wellbeing. This benefit is very valuable considering the high costs of medical care. CHAMPVA can make a huge difference for families of disabled veterans, particularly for spouses.
A Lawyer Can Help You Determine What Benefits Veteran Spouses Get
If you are the spouse of a 100% disabled vet, it is vital to understand the benefits you can get from VA. You should also confirm what you may be eligible for if your partner is deceased or was in active service during a specific period.
A disability attorney can help you determine eligibility for various VA benefits. They may also guide you in filing a decision review process or seeking retroactive benefits. Call today for answers to your questions.
Call or text or complete a Free Case Evaluation form
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Obtaining 100 Percent Benefits As A Spouse
Some benefits will automatically be rewarded once your spouses service-connected disability is rated 100 percent. Other benefits will only be awarded after applications have been approved and eligibility requirements have been met.
The application process can be complicated at times, and the Department of Veterans Affairs can be unclear about the requirements necessary or important due dates to consider.
If you feel your Veteran is not receiving the benefits they deserve due to a service-connected injury, you can:
- Contact the VA for assistance, or
- Reach out to a professional who can help.
If necessary, you can always appeal a decision, and Hill and Ponton, PA, and their legal professionals would be happy to assist you.
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Va Burial Benefits For Spouses Of Veterans
The National Cemetery Administration offers burial services to spouses of veterans. When a veterans spouse passes away, they may be eligible to be buried in the national cemetery. They are eligible for this benefit regardless of whether the veteran has already passed away as well.
Spouses can also have their name and their date of birth engraved on the veterans headstone. This benefit also guarantees that they will have perpetual care of their grave site.
Also Check: Mental Health Short Term Disability
Va Benefits For Spouses Dependents Survivors And Family Caregivers
As the spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for certain benefits, like health care, life insurance, or money to help pay for school or training. As the survivor of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for added benefits, including help with burial costs and survivor compensation.
If youre caring for a Veteran, you may also be eligible for support to help you better care for the Veteranand for yourself. Find out which benefits you may qualify for and how to access them.
Applying For Dea Benefits
In some cases, veterans will see language such as eligibility to dependents Chapter 35 DEA / CHAMPVA are established in their decisions from VA. Here, VA has granted DEA because the veteran has a permanent and total disability. However, before DEA benefits can be distributed, either the veteran or their spouse is required to fill out a specific application and submit it to their local Regional Office.
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If Youre The Surviving Spouse Of A Veteran
Your monthly payment rate is: $1,562.74Effective December 1, 2022
You may also be eligible for added amounts based on certain factors. Find any descriptions in the table below that are true for you. Add the amount listed in the Added monthly amount column of each description to your monthly payment. This is your total monthly payment.
Added amounts for surviving spouses
Effective December 1, 2022
|If this description is true||You may qualify for this benefit||Added monthly amount|
|If this description is true||
||You may qualify for this benefit||8-year provision||Added monthly amount||331.84|
|If this description is true||You have a disability and need help with regular daily activities||You may qualify for this benefit||Aid and Attendance||Added monthly amount||387.15|
|If this description is true||You cant leave your house due to a disability||You may qualify for this benefit||Housebound allowance||Added monthly amount||181.37|
|If this description is true||You have 1 or more children who are under 18||You may qualify for this benefit||
||Added monthly amount||
Example of how to calculate your DIC payment
If you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran, your monthly rate would start at $1,562.74.
Asking The Va To Make Your Rating Permanent
If you don’t see any pertinent language in the decision letter and you’re really not sure if the VA considers your disability permanent, do not call them and tell them you want to know if it is permanent. For example, you might ask them if it’s permanent because you need help paying for your child to go to college. But decisions to make a rating permanent are not made based on your financial need.
Instead, write a letter to your VA Regional Office and request a permanent rating. Provide medical evidence to the VA showing that your medical condition cannot be expected to improve in the future.
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How To Qualify For Vas Caregiver Program
To be eligible for the Caregiver Program, the veteran must have suffered a serious injury that impacts their activities of daily living. Examples of serious injuries may include traumatic brain injury , post-traumatic stress disorder , or the loss of a limb. The veteran must also:
- Be a veteran, or member of the armed forces, undergoing a medical discharge
- Have an individual or combined VA disability rating of 70 percent or higher
- Have served on or after September 11, 2001 or on or before May 7, 1975
- Have service-connected disabilities which were caused or aggravated by active duty service and
- Need at least six months of continuous, in-person personal care services.
The caregiver assisting the veteran must also meet certain qualifications, including the following:
- The caregiver must be at least 18 years old and
- The spouse, child, parent, stepparent, stepchild, or extended family member of the veteran and
- Live with the veteran full time or be willing to if designated as the family caregiver.
How Do I Get These Benefits
Youll need to apply.
There are 2 main GI Bill programs offering educational assistance to survivors and dependents of Veterans.
The is for children and spouses of:
- Active-duty service members who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, or
- Members of the Selected Reserve who died from a service-connected disability on or after September 11, 2001
The Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance program offers education and training to qualified dependents of Veterans who:
- Are permanently and totally disabled because of a service-related condition, or
- Died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition
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Va Dependency And Indemnity Compensation
DIC is one of the most helpful surviving spouse military benefits. It provides tax-free monthly benefits to spouses and dependents of veterans that either died in the line of duty or from a service-related injury or illness.
The monthly rate for a veterans surviving spouse starts at $1,357.56. Dependents younger than 18 years in the surviving spouses care add $336.32 to the DIC award + $288.27 for the first two years to ease the transition.
What Is A Va Survivors Pension
VA survivors pensions are payments made to spouses and dependents of deceased veterans. However, if you have remarried or earn an income higher than the eligibility limits set by Congress, you may not qualify.
Like the DIC benefits, survivors pension payments are made monthly. The amounts may also change depending on the rates set by Congress.
Since the survivors pension benefit is only available to spouses of vets who served during specific wartime periods, it is vital to confirm if your partner was in this category. Contact VA for more information about their deployment history if you are unsure.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
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Can I Receive Sbp Or Rcsbp Payments And Dic At The Same Time
In most cases, you cant receive a full SBP or RCSBP payment and a full DIC payment at the same time. The exception is if you’re receiving an SBP or RCSBP annuity from one spouse, then you remarry after age 55 and become eligible for DIC based on the service-connected disability of your new spouse. In this case you can receive full benefits through both programs at the same time.
If the exception doesn’t apply to you, the DFAS will reduce your SBP or RCSBP payment by one-third of your DIC payment through the end of this year. If your DIC payment is greater than your total SBP or RCSBP payment, the DFAS will stop your SBP or RCSBP payments. This is called the SBP/DIC offset.
What About Dependency And Indemnity Compensation And Survivor Benefits
If you are the surviving spouse or dependent of a disabled veteran or service member, you would qualify for dependency and indemnity compensation . These are tax-free disability benefits for spouses and dependents. The rates are set on an annual basis.
If you are a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, you will have several options that entitle you to disability compensation:
- Had a child with a military member and not currently remarried.
DIC is considered permanent for a surviving spouse. However, if you have a dependent child receiving benefits, it would only last until 18 years of age .