Survivor and Family Benefits

Are There Programs that Provide Surviving Family Members with Monthly Payments?

Yes. Below are two programs administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provides monthly assistance to some survivors.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is for the surviving spouses of military members who die while in service or from a service connected disability. It provides a monthly payment regardless of the spouse’s income from other sources. The amount is higher if there are additional dependents or if the spouse is disabled and/or housebound. In some cases, the parents of deceased military and disabled veterans may also receive DIC.

Death Pension

Death Pension is for exceptionally low income surviving spouses and under age surviving children of deceased veterans with war time service. A surviving spouse with no children would need to have income of less than $624.84 per month to be eligible. They would receive enough assistance to raise their income to this level. The level is higher depending on the number of dependents.

 

Applications for both programs can be made directly to the VA. We recommend, however, that applications be made with the assistance of an accredited veteran service officer.

VA Nationwide Benefits Number to Request an Application     (800) 827-1000

American Legion Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction)     (802) 296-5166

Disabled American Veterans Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction)     (802) 296-5167

Veterans of Foreign Wars Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction)     (802) 296-5168

State of Vermont Veteran Service Officer Program (Office at Montpelier)     (888) 666-9844

Are There Educational Programs for Survivors?

Yes. The programs below may be of assistance to surviving spouses and children.

Dependents Education Assistance (DEA)

This VA program is available to some spouses or children of military members who died or were permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service connected injury or condition.  The program operates much like the Montgomery GI Bill, and must be used within 10 years of the date of eligibility for the program. Applications can be made directly to the VA or through a veteran service officer. Questions about the program can be directed to the VA or to the Education Consultant at the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

VA Nationwide Benefits Number to Request an Application     (800) 827-1000

American Legion Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction)     (802) 296-5166

Disabled American Veterans Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction)     (802) 296-5167

Veterans of Foreign Wars Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction)     (802) 296-5168

State of Vermont Veteran Service Officer Program (Office at Montpelier Office of Veterans Affairs)     (888) 666-9844

Education Consultant at the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs     (802) 828-1082

Armed Services Scholarship

The Armed Services Scholarship is a State of Vermont program for the spouse and children of military members who died on active duty since 2001, or the spouse and children of Vermont National Guard members who have died while serving at any time. The scholarship can be used towards the completion of an undergraduate degree at a Vermont school. For Vermont state schools, the scholarship covers the full tuition; for Vermont private schools, the scholarship reduces the tuition. If the deceased was a member of the Vermont National Guard, applications are processed by the guard’s education office. All others apply to the Veteran Services Director at the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

Vermont National Guard Education Office     (802) 338-3346

Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs (In State Toll Free)     (888) 666-9844

Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs     (802) 828-3379

Is Healthcare Provided for Survivors?

Yes. Some survivors may be eligible for healthcare through the two federal programs below.

TRICARE

The surviving family members of military members who die in service or military retirees may be eligible for continued TRICARE coverage, which is provided by the Department of Defense.

CHAMPVA

Surviving family members who are not eligible for TRICARE may be eligible for CHAMPVA, which is provided by the VA. CHAMPVA is available to the spouse and children of permanently and totally disabled veterans, the surviving spouse and children of disabled veterans who died of their service connected condition, or the spouse and children of military members who die in service (this is very rare, however, as most of these survivors are eligible for TRICARE). Contact the VA directly for more information or to apply.

CHAMPVA     (800) 733-8387

Can Survivors Use the VA Guaranteed Home Loan Program?

Yes. Many surviving spouses of veterans who died of a service connected disability may use the VA Guaranteed Home Loan Program.  Applications should be made directly with the VA.

VA Guaranteed Home Loans     (800) 827-6311