5 Benefits for Loved Ones of Deceased Veterans
When a member of the military dies or is permanently injured as a direct result of their service, the government offers their loved ones a variety of benefits.
These offerings are administered through the Veterans Benefits Administration and can help provide security during a difficult and tumultuous time.
The following benefits are provided to dependents or survivors of Servicemembers and Veterans according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs:
1. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a one-time, tax-free monetary benefit to the surviving spouse or a child of a veteran who dies from a service-related injury or disease. There are specific requirements to qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation:
● Children must be unmarried and either under 18 years old or between 18 and 23, and currently attending school.
● Widows and widowers must have been married at the time of the death or within 15 years of the discharge from the period of the military service in which the veteran first was injured or became ill.
● If the survivor is not married to the servicemember, they must have a child together. The survivor can not have remarried and can not be the cause of a marital separation.
2. Parents Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Another benefit for veteran survivors is Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which is a similar, tax-free monthly benefit paid to the parents of a service member who died in the line of duty or from a service-related injury or illness. This includes all biological. Adoptive and foster parents who meet income eligibility guidelines are listed here.
3. Survivor’s Pension
A Survivor’s Pension is a monetary benefit paid to the low-income spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime service. It is payable contingent upon the following requirements:
● The veteran can not have been discharged dishonorably.
● Veterans who served before 9/7/1980 must have 90 days of active service, one of which must be during a wartime period.
● Veterans who served after 9/7/1980 must have served either two years or the full period during which they were called for active duty, of which one day must be during a wartime period.
Is The Veteran Survivor Pension Taxable?
No. Survivor’s Pension is tax-free.
How Do I Apply For Veteran Survivor’s Pension Benefits?
To apply for a Survivor’s Pension, you must fill out the Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Survivors Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits form. ( VA Form 21P-534EZ )
4. The Fry Scholarship
The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship was established in honor of Fry, who was stationed in Iraq in 2006 and lost his life while defusing an explosive device. He had injured his hand and was given the option to return home early with a Bronze Star. Instead, he chose to stay for the remaining week of his tour and gave his life so that his fellow marines could be safer.
To honor his sacrifice, a scholarship was founded in his name to support the children and surviving spouses of deceased veterans.
The Fry Scholarship provides the following benefits:
● Up to 36 months of tuition benefits (total tuition costs for public schools and up to $22,805.34 per year for private or out-of-state schools )
● Textbook stipends
● Housing allowances
● The service member must have died in the line of active duty after September 10, 2001.
● A spouse forfeits their eligibility if they remarry.
● Children of veterans must begin an approved program by their 33rd birthday.
● A surviving spouse’s eligibility generally ends 15 years after the death.
5. Beneficiary Financial Counseling Service and Online Will Preparation
The Department of Veteran Affairs offers financial planning and online will preparation at no cost for beneficiaries of the following programs:
● Servicemembers Group Life insurance
● Traumatic Injury Protection
● Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
● Veteran’s Group Life Insurance
These counseling services are provided by a team of financial experts with a wide range of experience with end-of-life planning for veterans and service members.
The VA also provides a free online will service that allows survivors to create a document without needing to retain a lawyer. The process is simple and only involves answering some basic questions. Then, a complete will is generated that is ready to print and sign, valid in all states.
Veteran Survivors Are Not Alone
This assistance provides much-needed support for military members and their families who are dealing with end-of-life planning. If you would like to find out more information on veteran’s burial benefits, click here.
National Cremation is one of the oldest and largest networks of cremation services in the nation. We’re dedicated to helping families with final needs. If you have an immediate need, please call (855) 469-9474. If you would like to discuss how you can preplan your final arrangements, please contact us today.