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 several types of VA survivors 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.  Find out more about DIC benefits by reading our detailed DIC article here.

Survivor’s pension

Another VA survivors benefits is a survivor’s pension.  The veteran’s spouse and children can be eligible for this benefit.  The requirements of a survivor’s pension are different that the requirements for DIC benefits.  In order to qualify for a survivor’s pension, the recipient must be low income.  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 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, please give us a call or complete the “Need Help” form to schedule a free consultation.

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.

Thank you Jason and Tina for everything you've done. Much appreciated. Great law firm! Great results!! Thank you!!! (Austin and Valerie)Valerie Mellinger
Travis and the team working on my VA claim are awesome. I’m happy with their integrity and diligence on working on my claim.Chris “Greybeard” Mullennix
I can't express enough how great it was to work with Perkins Studdard. They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and keep you aware of everything happening with your case. Very friendly from the front office to Mr. Perkins. I would HIGHLY recommend Perkins Studdard!James Strickland
I recommend Travis for an Veteran that has been dealing with constant denial with claims. He also , cover cost for my nexus letter when I ran into financial troubles , that helped me win my case.edwin Cook
I highly recommend Travis Studdard to represent anyone looking to help with VA claims. The VA is very difficult to deal with when attempting to get benefits from service connected injuries, at least that's my experience. Travis and his team knows the VA system and the legal procedures to help you get what you deserve. Travis was kind and passionate with me throughout this process and therefore, I highly recommend this law firm to represent DAV's.Terry Hembree
Such an awesome team. They spoke to me like a person and helped me through every decision with knowledge.Kevin Collett
Highly recommend this firm. Did exactly what they said they were going to and fairly timely. The VA is sometimes extremely difficult to navigate but this took all the leg work away from me and got me the result I thought was fair.Andrew Boone
Amazing staff, very informed along with excellent communication. Within just a few weeks of work, Mr Studdard was able to make things happen that normally take years! Highly recommendJacob Sylvester
Perkins Studdard LLC is the place you need to be if you have a Workers Comp case going on! Mr. Jason Perkins and his staff get the results that you need. They work with you and fight for you.Coming from another lawyer my husband and I were really surprised and appreciated the communication and honesty and understanding throughout the entire process. My husband loves the videos because they held so much information and helped him understand what what was going on. Thank you so much for representing us!!!Deborah Tompkins
I highly recommend Jason Perkins and the Team at Perkins and Studdard. Jason did a wonderful job on my case and actually got me better results than what I was hoping for. He was always so patient with me and made sure I was understanding every process in my case. He never seemed to mind me asking questions and always gave me straightforward answers. My phone calls to him or his staff were promptly answered or returned and everyone was always so helpful, personable, and respectful. He kept me updated on all the details of my case and sent helpful videos for me to review that were very informative.Dru Vaughn

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