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Will My Wife Receive My VA Disability When I Die?

When you receive VA disability payments, it’s important to understand who will continue receiving them after you die. For example, your spouse may be able to receive your payments, or they may need to pass along any benefits they’re receiving to your children.

If your loved one was a service member who died while serving, or if they were a Veteran with an illness or injury related to their time in service and subsequently passed away, you may be eligible for VA DIC benefits. DIC benefits are available to surviving spouses, children, and parents.

We’ll take a look at what you need to know about receiving benefits after your spouse’s death. Stay tuned!

What Benefits Does a Wife of a Deceased Veteran Get?

If you are a veteran’s surviving spouse, child, or parent, you could be eligible for benefits like burial costs and compensation or pension reimbursement. In addition, you may qualify for health care, life insurance, and financial assistance to help pay for school or training. You also may be eligible for counseling and other support services.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

If you are the spouse, child, or parent of a veteran who passed away on or after January 1, 1957, you may be eligible for monthly Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payments. 

Survivors may be eligible for this benefit if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The veteran died while serving on active duty or while inactive but still training.
  • The veteran died from an injury or condition created by, or worsened by, their time in service.

DIC may also be paid to certain survivors of veterans if their death was unrelated to any service-connected disabilities. If you want to be eligible for the Department of Veterans Affairs, at the time of death, the veteran must have a total disability connected to their service. This could be because of schedular disabilities, extra-schedular disabilities, or by increased evaluation based on Individual Unemployability. 

Furthermore, the veteran must consistently have been rated as completely disabled either:

  • For the ten years leading up to death.
  • Military veterans are covered for at least five years before their death.
  • The individual must have been a prisoner of war for at least one year prior to their death.

Please note: the veteran applying for this benefit must have received an honorable discharge from their active military, naval, or air service period. The disability that caused or contributed to their death must have occurred during this time. Their actions must not have caused the veteran’s death.

Death Benefit

A Death Pension is a monthly benefit granted to the qualified surviving spouse and children of a veteran who served honorably during wartime and died as a result of an unconnected cause.

The monthly amount is regulated by income and will generally be paid to a surviving spouse whose:

  • The veteran must have died at least one year ago.
  • For any period of time during which a child was born from the marriage or if the child was born to them before the marriage.

The spouses and dependents of peacetime veterans are not eligible for Death Pension. However, if the veteran’s death occurred due to a service-connected disability, their dependents would be eligible for DIC.

Survivors Pension

The VA Survivors Pension pays monthly payments to qualified surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children of wartime Veterans who fulfill Congress-mandated income and net worth criteria. A dependent child must be unmarried and younger than 18 or between the ages of 18-23 if attending school full-time.

There are two types of Survivors Pension available: need-based and non-need based. The amount of benefit paid is different for each type of pension. To be eligible for either type, the Veteran must have served during a period of wartime service, as well as meet specific other requirements.

Suppose the Veteran meets all eligibility criteria except for active military duty during a period of wartime service. In that case, the surviving spouse or child may still qualify for a need-based pension called “Aid and Attendance” or “Housebound.” These benefits are paid in addition to any other benefits for which the Veteran or their dependents may be eligible.


How Much Does a Spouse Get from VA Disability After Death?

If you’re the spouse of a Veteran who passed away, your monthly benefit would be $1,437.66 starting December 1, 2021.

If you are the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who died before January 1, 1993, VA calculates your DIC monthly payment differently. Annually, DIC payouts are updated. For example, in 2022, the surviving spouses of veterans who have passed since January 1, 1993, will likely receive $1,440 a month with supplementary payments if the veteran was disabled prior to death or if the spouse is now disabled or caring for minor children. For veterans who passed away before 1993, the DIC rates allotted by the VA differ, starting at $1,440 and going up to $3,290. These ranges are in addition to supplements that are dependent on the deceased’s military pay grade.

Children who rely on a deceased parent for support may qualify for DIC payments, and some low-income parents of veterans can get benefits. However, DIC payments are not automatic. To be eligible, survivors must apply for the benefit after their loved one’s death as soon as possible. If you apply more than 12 months after the service member’s death, then your payments will only be retroactive to the date of application, not to the date of the veteran’s death. However, in most cases, if a surviving spouse remarries, they lose their eligibility.

Do Spouses of 100% Disabled Veterans Get Benefits?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides numerous benefits to spouses of veterans with a 100% disability rating. Not only does this company offer competitive advantages, but they also throw in extra monthly compensation for veterans with other dependents such as children or parents. 

VA benefits for spouses of 100% disabled veterans include:

  • A monthly stipend
  • Healthcare coverage through the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA)
  • Dental care coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Burial at Sea
  • Home loan guaranty
  • Educational benefits
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Burial and memorial benefits
  • Exchange Privileges (If Sponsor 100% Disabled) 
  • Commissary Privileges (If Sponsor 100% Disabled) 
  • State Specific Benefits

How Long Does a Spouse Get Survivors Benefits?

If the Veteran is classified as permanently and totally disabled with an effective date of three years from release, or if the service member dies on active duty, the spouse will be entitled to benefits. Benefits will be available for 20 years from the rating date or death. If the spouse remarries before age 55, they will no longer be eligible for payments. However, a spouse can still receive benefits after remarriage if they care for the Veteran’s child under 18 or if they are disabled or over the age of 62.

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