March 5, 2022
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Do Spouses Of Deceased Veterans Get Benefits?

Do Spouses Of Deceased Veterans Get Benefits?

Orville BravoMarch 5, 2022

Survivors of deceased military personnel and veterans are eligible for various benefits. Dependent Indemnity Compensation, a Death Gratuity payment, and Tricare benefits are among them.

Compensation for Dependency and Indemnity (DIC)

DIC is a monthly payment made to qualifying survivors of the following:

Military personnel who died while on active duty, OR Veterans who died as a result of a service-related injury or disease, OR Veterans who died as a result of a non-service-related injury or disease, and who were receiving, or were entitled to receive, VA benefits. 

Compensation for a service-connected disability is rated as totally disabling for at least ten years before death, OR since the veteran's release from active duty and for at least five years before death, OR for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

Gratuity for Death

The death gratuity is a $100,000 tax-free gift made to the survivors of the following military personnel:

  • A member who dies while on active service or while traveling on official business.
  • A reservist dies while doing inactive duty training or traveling on official business.
  • An ROTC member dies while on permitted travel or performing an annual training assignment under instructions for more than 13 days.
  • A person who has been approved for active duty dies while en route to or from that location or serving under orders.

Pension on Death

A Death Pension is a monetary payment made to qualifying dependents of deceased military soldiers. If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible:

The deceased veteran performed 90 days or more of active duty, with at least one day during a period of war (although, anyone who enlists after September 7, 1980, must normally serve at least 24 months or their complete enlistment to earn any benefits based on that period of service). Additionally, you are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of a deceased veteran, and your taxable income is less than a yearly limit established by law.

Tricare

If the sponsor was serving or was ordered to active duty for more than 30 days at the time of death, surviving wives and unmarried children of deceased active duty or retired service personnel are eligible for Tricare.

  • For the first three years after the active-duty sponsor's death, claims will be cost-shared at the active duty family member rate and after that at the retiree rate.
  • Widows and widowers are entitled to benefits until they remarry (loss of benefits remains applicable even if the remarriage ends in death or divorce).
  • Unless they meet one of the conditions listed above, children are eligible until they reach the age of 21.

Basic Housing Allowance

The spouse and children of a deceased service member living in government housing have the option of staying in government housing for 365 days or relocating to private quarters and receiving a one-year Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) or Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA), as applicable. 

To be eligible for this private quarters allowance, the service member had to be eligible for those allowances for their dependents at the time of death.

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