VA Survivors Benefits for a Veteran’s Spouse, Children, and Parents

When a veteran passes away, the veteran’s spouse, children, and parents may be eligible for VA survivors benefits.  There are several different types of survivor benefits.  This article discusses some of those benefits.

Dependency and indemnity compensation

The first type of VA survivors benefit is known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or DIC.  This benefit is available to eligible survivors when the veteran’s death was caused by a service-connected condition or when the veteran was 100% disabled by VA for 10 years or more prior to death.

Survivor’s pension

Another VA survivors benefit is a survivor’s pension.  The veteran’s spouse and children can be eligible for this benefit.  The requirements for receiving a survivor’s pension are different that the requirements for DIC benefits.

In order to qualify for a survivor’s pension, the recipient must have an income below a certain established level.  The income requirements change year to year.

Also, the veteran must have had a certain period of active duty service with at least one day in an active war period.  It is important to note that the requirement of one day in an active war period does not mean that the veteran had to have been involved in combat operations.  It is generally sufficient if the veteran was simply on active duty while there was a war ongoing.

To find out more about survivor’s pension, read our detailed survivor’s pension article.

Education benefits

Education benefits have been extended to surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty since September 1, 2001.  Those spouses may be eligible for 36 months of financial assistance for educational expenses such as tuition, fees, housing, books, and school supplies.

This educational benefit known as the Fry Scholarship had previously only been available to children. There are deadlines for when the benefit must be used.  More information about eligibility and the assistance provided by the Fry Scholarship can be found here.


There are many types of benefits available to survivors of veterans. Sometimes, survivors may be eligible for more than one type of benefit.

It is also important to understand that these benefits can affect each other. For example, children who start receiving the Fry Scholarship will have to give up their DIC benefits, but spouses generally do not.

If you have questions about survivors benefits, we are glad to try to help you.  You can schedule a free consultation by calling the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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