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When A Veteran Dies Is There A Death Benefit?

Veterans deserve our respect and thanks, especially when they die. So, the question is often asked, “Are there any death benefits for veterans?” Unfortunately, the answer is complicated and depends on a variety of factors.

Veterans who passed away as a result of their service are entitled to have the VA pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses if they died on or after September 11, 2001. If the veteran death occurred before September 11, 2001, then VA will cover up to $1,500 in burial expenses. 

This informative post will answer that question and more. So please keep reading to learn about the benefits available to veterans and their families when they pass away. Thank you for your service, veterans. We honor you!

What Benefits Do Veterans Get at Death?

If you qualify, you could get these benefits: a VA burial allowance for funeral and burial costs. The VA plots or interment allowance can help with the costs of a gravesite or interment. In addition, the VA will reimburse funeral transportation costs to transport the veteran’s remains to their final resting place.

Service-related Death

For every veteran who died on or after September 11, 2001, the Veterans Administration will refund up to $2,000 in burial fees. The VA will pay up to $1,500 in funeral fees for veterans who died before September 11, 2001. Suppose the veteran is buried at a VA national cemetery. In that case, the veteran’s family may be reimbursed for some or all of the expense of transporting the body.

Non-service-related Death

If you are a Veteran and pass away on or after October 1, 2019, the VA will pay up to $796 for your funeral expenses. If the VA did not hospitalize you at the time of death, the amount paid would be reduced to $300. If you are not buried in a national cemetery, you will receive a $796 plot-interment allowance. If you died on or after December 1, 2001, but before October 1, 2011, the VA will reimburse you for up to $300 in burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance. Veterans who died on or after April 1, 1988, but before October 1, 2011, will be reimbursed $300 for burial and funeral expenses (for those hospitalized by VA at the death). In the fiscal year 2013, an increase in burial and plot allowances for fatalities occurring after October 1, 2011, was implemented. The allowance is calculated using the Consumer Price Index for the previous 12-month period.


How Much is the Military Death Benefit?

The military death benefit is a lump sum payment of $100,000 paid to a deceased veteran’s surviving spouse or next of kin. The death benefit can be used to help cover funeral and burial expenses and other final expenses. Parents or siblings left behind after the death of a loved one in service may receive the mortuary payment if designated as next of kin. The military will provide the final payment to a deceased individual’s beneficiary. If there is no automatic process, the surviving party may apply to request assistance from the relevant military service.

The death gratuity is a sum of cash given to the families of deceased Armed Forces members to help them meet their expenses until other survivor benefits become available.

The death gratuity is payable in the event of the death of a reserve member while on authorized travel, which includes:

  • Leaving or returning from active duty
  • Training for inactive duty
  • Traveling directly to or from active duty for training or inactive duty training

This also applies to reserve officers who die while performing their annual training duty if they were under orders for more than 13 days, or authorized to travel to and from such assignment. In addition, this membership is for reserve officers’ training corps applicants who died while traveling to or from field training or a practice voyage, as well as for anyone who died while going to, from, or while at a location of acceptance for active duty.

Do Families of Deceased Veterans Get Benefits?

You may be eligible for VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) if you are the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died while serving or the survivor of a Veteran who died as a result of an injury related to their service.

As a surviving spouse


As a surviving child


As a surviving parent


How Much of My Husband’s Military Retirement Do I Get if He Dies?

After a service member’s death, the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) pays up to 55 percent of the member’s retirement salary to an eligible beneficiary. After the member’s death, the SBP annuity is paid monthly to the surviving spouse, child, or children. The Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program provides monetary benefits to widows, spouses, children, and parents of service personnel or retirees who died as a result of an injury or sickness incurred while serving. Suppose you have an SBP annuity and remarry beyond age 55 (or in other particular conditions). In that case, you cannot earn full SBP and DIC benefits until 2023. Starting in 2021, there are major changes in how SBP and DIC interact.

Please keep in mind that DIC payments provided directly to children do not affect SBP child annuity installments. When the DFAS was contacted by the VA in 2022 and told that a spouse annuitant is receiving DIC, by law, they are then required to deduce one-third of the amount of DIC received from the SBP payable. And pay only the remaining balance of SBP to said annuitant; this is called The offset of SBP/DIC. Suppose you are the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a veteran who died as a result of service-related injuries or diseases. In that case, you may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). 

DIC is awarded to qualifying survivors of veterans who died as a result of a disease or injury sustained while serving on active military duty, active duty for training, or whose death resulted from any other cause. In contrast, the veteran was rated disabled from service-connected conditions for at least ten years immediately before death or from 5 years after discharge from active military duty in which the veteran served at least 30 days. Additionally, if the veteran served for less than 90 days on active duty, they had to be dismissed due to a service-related condition.

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