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.

I could not have asked for a better lawyer to represent my worker comp. case. Any questions I had during the process was always answered in a timely manner. Mr. Perkins really cared about insuring that I wasn't being taken advantage of during this process and helped us reach a settlement that I feel comfortable with. I would recommend this firm to my parents or children.syndel Laber
I'm so thankful and grateful for all the hard work Jason, Tina and Liz did for me. They went above and beyond to get the best outcome for me. They took the to explain everything that was going on with my case again I'm so thankful grateful and happy with the outcome of my workers comp case.Adrian Adams
First off, I must say thank you again to the office of Perkins Studdard. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication your office has shown to achieve a successful and happy outcome. You have forever changed my family’s life! Also, I wanted to give a special shoutout to Jessica Hyatt for her excellent attitude, advice, and overall professionalism throughout every step of this process. This journey has finally been complete after more than a decade of being denied and almost giving up. However, two of my old coworkers advised me that the office of Perkins Studdard had also successfully helped them achieve their proper rating too. Needless to say, this has been one of my best decisions in life. I can now sleep a little better and stress free knowing I finally got what I deserved all along. Once again, thank you for everything! And shoutout to Travis Studdard, “we did it.” Respectfully, Jonathon FloresJonathon Flores
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The best I know for workers comp attorney'sDenise Williams
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Thank you so much ! I received excellent representation from the entire Perkins Studdard Law firm, my VA claim was resolved and granted in a timely manner, they were hands on with me during the entire process. I would definitely recommend the firm to any veteran deciding to file a VA claim.Darrell Lynn
I would like to thank the law firm of Perkins-Studdard (Travis) and his team, for performing such an outstanding job, at every possible level, during my recent situation with the VA Disability Claims . From the first time I called and spoke with Mr Studdard with an overview of my situation, until the final settlement was executed (successfully I may add), I always felt that I was in good hands with this firm. Everyone in the office, Jessica, and April were responsive, approachable, knowledgeable, good listeners, and extremely professional. Mr. Studdard was realistic of the circumstances and of the potential difficult process that would lay ahead, should I proceed. I can’t say enough about Travis, and I will always be thankful to him. Travis was committed, and he instilled a real sense of confidence during both the highs and the lows. He ultimately prevailed and the outcome was very much in my favor. Of course, each case is different on its own merits and one can never predict how things ultimately will turn out. All I know is that the settlement far exceeded my expectation. Mr. Studdard has been a blessing to me. I strongly recommend that anyone who would find themselves in a similar legal situation with the VA to contact Law Offices of Perkins Studdard for a consultation. It was a very positive experience given the circumstances. Thank you again, I shall forever be in your debt.Concetta Hogg
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Travis and his team have been a blessing for me and my family. They have done an amazing job in helping me navigate the VA appeals process. They kept their eye on the ball all the way through the long, difficult and confusing process. I highly recommend Travis and his team because thanks to their professionalism and know how, I got the benefits I deserve.Daniel patriot

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