VA Education Benefit Extended to Surviving Spouses
According to an article on Stars and Stripes, surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001 will now be eligible for 36 months of educational assistance. This assistance will come from the Fry Scholarship which will cover tuition and fees. It will also include money for a housing allowance, books, and school supplies.
This benefit was previously only available to the children but was expanded to include spouses in a veterans bill that was passed by Congress. Spouses who are eligible for the scholarship should receive notification from the VA, but, if you have questions, you can find more information on the VA’s website.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefits for Veterans’ Spouses
There are also a number of other benefits available to spouses of service members who have died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-connected disability. For example, a surviving spouse may be eligible to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) in a number of instances, including the following:
- The service member died while on active duty
- The veteran died as a result of an injury or disease related to military service
- The veteran died from any cause and had a 100% rated service connected disability for a certain period of time (at least 10 years, 5 years, or 1 year) prior to death
Other benefits for spouses
Surviving spouses of veterans can also receive other benefits. One of the other benefits is a survivor’s pension. You can find out more detailed information about survivor’s pensions in our survivor’s pension article.
Other factors to consider
It can be tricky for a veteran’s surviving spouse to file a claim properly and timely. The spouse should receive all the benefits to which he or she is entitled. If the veteran has a disability benefit claim pending at the time of death, the surviving spouse needs to follow particular rules to make sure the benefits from that claim are protected.