VA Disability Benefits: Does it Extend to the Spouse After Death 

The death of a veteran is extremely difficult, especially for their loved ones who need to process the challenge of losing them. Besides the emotional impact of losing a loved one, financial challenges will also be a part of this situation. It warrants the question if a disabled veteran dies does the spouse receive benefits?

Most veterans fear that their spouse or dependents may not obtain their VA benefits in the event that they pass away. Here at Just4Veterans, we provide the best veterans assistance and veterans help for service-members including VA disability benefits for surviving spouses.

Let us unveil more about this benefit with this blog post and answer the questions: can a spouse get VA benefits and when do VA benefits stop after death?

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

The VA disability spouse after death of a veteran is under the Dependency and Indemnity compensation (DIC) an eligible VA benefits for surviving spouses. As of December 1,2023, surviving spouses of a veteran can receive a monthly payment rate of $1,612.75.

The VA will consider the dependents eligible for this benefit as long as they meet these criteria:

  • The service-member passed away during active duty
  • The result of death is due to a service-related injury or disability

For surviving spouses, the following must be true for them to be eligible for disabled veteran spouse benefits of DIC:

  • The spouse lived with the veteran with no separation until they passed away
  • In the event of separation, the spouse of the veteran must prove that the separation was not their fault.
  • At least 1 year of marriage with the veteran
  • The spouse and the veteran had a child
  • The marriage took place within 15 years of the veteran’s discharge from their service, by then the service-related injuries or illness started or worsened.

It is crucial for the spouse of the service member to supply necessary proof of the claim detailing the veteran’s service records, medical reports, and test results.

Additionally, the VA requires the spouse or dependents to submit other documents related to the veteran’s death.

  1. DD214 or other separation documents – It contains the full summary of the veteran’s time in the military, including some of their accomplishments and the specific tasks, or jobs they performed while in the active line of duty.
  2. Death Certificate – For the VA to confirm and show the cause of death of the veteran.

Can the spouse claim the VA pension after death?

One of the VA benefits for surviving spouse is the VA survivor’s pension. It provides a monthly allowance for qualified surviving spouses and dependents of the veterans who meet certain income and net worth limits approved by the Congress.

The VA rewards surviving spouses with this benefit if they haven’t remarried after the veteran’s death, or the veteran was discharged honorably.

Can the spouse get the VA compensation if a VA-related disability did not cause death?

If in case that the veteran passed away other than their service-connected illness or injury but received a VA compensation due to a total disability, it is critical to guarantee these factors for the dependents to receive the benefit:

  • They receive total disability rating at least 10 years before passing away
  • Inflicted total disability rating since their release from duty, or at least 5 years immediately before passing.

Total disability ratings are granted to veterans who are gravely affected by their injuries during their active service or training. These injuries can interrupt the way they live affecting their lifestyle and securing a decent income, and stable cost of living.

The VA will require the surviving spouse to submit or provide them with access of the following, most of these are documents confirming the relevance of the veteran’s disability,

  • Treatment and personnel records from the Veteran’s National Guard, or Reserve Unit.
  • Relevant private medical treatment records of the veteran
  • Treatment records possessed by a federal facility, to guarantee and support the VA claim (E.g VA medical center)

What happens to DIC if the Spouse remarries?

  • The surviving spouse can still receive the DIC benefit if they meet these criteria.
  • Remarriage occurred on or after December 16,2003
  • The spouse is 57 years old, or older, at the time of remarriage
  • Remarriage occurred on or after January 5, 2021
  • The spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the remarriage.

The VA will no longer provide the monthly allowance to the surviving spouse with any compensation if they have exceeded this age.

If you are a veteran who is worried if your surviving loved ones will receive a monthly allowance in the event of your passing, or the actual spouse of the veteran who wants to maintain and secure the benefits of your spouse to support your children’s then you may consider contacting us.

Just4Veterans is a dedicated veteran coach that aims to help all of the veterans process their claims, and support them in their journey in obtaining the correct rating, and disability benefits. You may book a free strategy call to directly reach our veteran coaches. You may also visit our VA claims assistance page to learn more about us.

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.