VA Death Benefits: How to Ensure You Recover Full Compensation

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides many burial allowance benefits to the families of service members who have died. These benefits include monthly payments, a burial allowance, perpetual care, and headstone or marker benefits. The VA also offers burial benefit to surviving spouses married in a legal union and children with an inherent right, and burial allowances may be eligible for dependents buried in a national cemetery.

The monthly payment provided to the families of service members who have died is called the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). The DIC payment the VA will pay is based on the service member’s rank when the veteran died, the number of dependents, and whether a service-related injury or illness caused the death also if the service-connected disability was passed on as certain birth defects.

Death Benefits for Military Members

Military service members who died related to their service or due to chemical exposure (such as Camp Lejeune water contamination) can qualify for VA death benefits.

Veteran Survivor Benefits

The VA provides veteran survivor benefits to ensure that veterans’ surviving spouse or other family members are taken care of financially after the veteran’s death. The VA also provides these benefits to recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans and their eligible surviving spouses and families.

Finally, the VA provides these benefits to encourage veterans and their families to pursue active duty military careers.

The program offers monthly VA compensation to help survivors cover the costs of living expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments of the veteran’s estate, their food, and utilities.

Are you related to a veteran who has served our country? The VA offers veterans and their families death benefits due to a service-connected death. These veterans’ death benefits can help ease the financial burden of losing a loved one.

Contact a VA death benefits attorney to explore your legal options.

Here are some of the death benefits that may be available to you after a veteran died during or after serving our country:

  • Burial Allowance: The VA will pay a burial allowance to help cover the costs of burying a veteran at a national cemetery or private cemeteries. This burial allowance can be up to $2,000, depending on the circumstances. Eligible surviving spouses can recoup all burial and funeral costs.
  • Funeral Services: The United States government may provide funeral services for eligible veterans at no cost. This includes transportation costs of the deceased veteran’s remains, funeral arrangements, perpetual care, and a headstone or marker, all overseen by a funeral director.
  • Military Funeral Honors: Upon request to the funeral director, the United States government, through the Department of Defense or National Guard, provides military funeral honors, including folding and presenting the United States burial flag. These accommodations can be held at a private or national cemetery during a veteran’s burial.
  • Death Pension: A VA pension may be available to surviving spouses and children of veterans who died while receiving VA benefits or were permanently disabled when the veteran died. The VA pension amount depends on the veteran’s income and assets.
  • Educational Benefits: Are available at VA expense by transferring Forever GI Bill benefits based on eligible survivors’ ages and marital status.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: This monthly benefit is paid to the veteran’s surviving spouse and children. The veteran must have died from service-related causes. Eligible recipients can receive between $1,176 and $3,026 per month, depending on the veteran’s status.

In the event of a service-connected death, headstone or marker benefits are provided to the families of service members who have died to help commemorate their service. The headstone or marker must be placed at the service member’s grave site in a public or private cemetery.

The VA Survivor Benefits program is an important way of honoring the sacrifices made by our veterans. The families of those who have died serving our country deserve our support and peace of mind. The burial and funeral expenses are covered. Thankfully, the VA Survivor Benefits program provides those benefits because their beloved veteran died.

VA National Cemetery

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) provides burial privileges to all honorably discharged veterans, including:

  • Active duty military personnel
  • Reservists
  • National Guard members
  • Korean War veterans
  • Veterans who do not have a dishonorable discharge
  • Not already receiving military retired pay

In addition, a veteran’s spouse and dependent children alive when the veteran died are also eligible for burial at a VA national cemetery when their death occurs.

The VA believes that it is essential to provide these burial benefits as a way to honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. The NCA operates 150 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots and monuments across the country.

A national cemetery is open to all members of the public, but to qualify, you must be:

  • Veterans of the armed forces
  • Service members who died while on active duty
  • A veteran’s spouse
  • A veteran’s minor child

In addition to providing veterans’ burial benefits after the veteran died, the VA also offers various memorial services and programs at a national or private cemetery in addition to burial and funeral expenses. These services are designed to help families and friends remember their loved ones who have passed away.

Some VA burial benefits and services at a VA national cemetery include:

  • A government headstone or marker placement
  • Presidential memorial certificate
  • Burial flag
  • Presidential Memorial bricks

The VA national cemeteries’ NCA is committed to providing all honorably discharged veterans with the burial allowance to cover burial expenses after a veteran’s death.

VA Death Pension

The VA provides Death Pension to certain veterans and their eligible survivors. The purpose of the Death Pension is to provide financial assistance to veterans and their survivors in need.

The VA offers Death Pension because it recognizes the sacrifices our active duty military members and their families make during war and conflict. The pension is a tax-free benefit that helps veterans and their families. To receive VA pension payments, the veteran must have met one of the following criteria:

  • Be age 65 or older before the veteran died
  • Have a service-related disability that has left them as permanently and totally disabled veterans
  • Be killed in action or the veteran died of any cause while on active duty.
  • Be receiving or have received VA disability compensation at the time of death.
  • Have served during a war period where the veteran died

The death pension is a valuable benefit that can help veterans and their families cover the cost of the veteran’s burial and funeral expenses. The death pension amount varies depending on the level of financial need, but typically it is between $250 and $1,000 per month.

Veterans Affairs: Aid & Attendance Benefits

The VA provides Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits to veterans and their survivors. These benefits can be used to pay for home health care, VA contracted nursing home care and other types of long-term care.

The A&A benefits are available to veterans who meet specific eligibility requirements, including service during a time of war. The benefits are significant because they help veterans and their families afford necessary care.

Without these disability-related benefits, many totally disabled veterans and their families would have to bear the cost of long-term care on their own. The A&A benefits the VA will pay to provide much-needed financial assistance, which can make a big difference in the lives of veterans and their families.

Survivor Benefit Plan

As a veteran, you have worked hard for your country, and the VA is committed to providing you and your family with the burial allowance benefits you have earned. One such benefit is the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), which offers financial protection to your spouse or eligible child after your death.

The SBP is a valuable benefit that can help ensure your loved ones are taken care of financially after you die. It is important to note that the SBP is not automatic; you must sign up for it. However, the VA will automatically deduct premiums from your military retirement pay if you sign up.

There are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to enroll in the SBP. For example, you need to consider how much money your spouse or child would need to live on if you were no longer around.

You also need to consider whether or not your family has other sources of income, such as life insurance policies in place just in case you or your veteran died.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to enroll in the SBP is a personal one that only you can make. However, it is essential to understand all the facts before deciding. The VA is here to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Non-Service-Related Death Benefits

The VA provides death benefits to certain individuals who are not service-connected veterans. These benefits are known as Non-Service-Related Death Benefits and are available to the surviving spouse and children of a veteran who dies from a non-service-related cause.

There are several reasons why the VA provides these benefits.

  • First, the VA wants to ensure that the family of a deceased veteran is taken care of financially.
  • Second, the VA believes that it is essential to provide death benefits to the families of all veterans, regardless of their service-connection status.
  • Finally, the VA hopes that providing death benefits will help to strengthen the bond between the veteran community and the general public.

The VA provides a wide range of death benefits to qualifying survivors. These benefits include monthly payments, a burial allowance, and a payment for the cost of transporting the remains of the veteran. In addition, the VA may provide educational assistance to the surviving child or children of a deceased veteran.

The non-service-related death benefits program is crucial to the VA’s overall mission to serve America’s veterans. The program provides much-needed financial assistance to the families of deceased veterans and helps to ensure that these families receive the respect and support they deserve.

Service-Related Death Benefits

The VA provides Service-Related Death Benefits to families of service men and women who have died due to their service. The benefits provide financial assistance to the families to help them cope with losing their loved ones.

The VA also offers other benefits and health care services to help families cope with a service member’s death, including counseling and burial benefits.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims and Burial Benefits

Since the early 1980s, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has been contaminated with toxic chemicals, including benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE). This contamination has led to severe health problems for many who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune.

Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune and family members can now file for service-connected disability benefits through the VA if they can prove their illness is linked to the water contamination.

In 2016, Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which provided healthcare and disability benefits for veterans and their families affected by the water contamination. The Act also provided a fund to help pay for medical costs not covered by VA benefits and burial allowances.

The VA offers service-related death benefits to eligible veterans who served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune and believe you may be eligible for service-connected disability benefits, please contact the VA for more information. (Read more about Camp Lejeune lawsuits)

Iraq and Afghanistan Burn Pit Victims and Burial Allowance

Since the start of the war in Iraq, service members have been exposed to open-air burn pits as a way to dispose of waste. The pits burned everything from plastics and Styrofoam to medical waste and human bodies.

In Afghanistan, under the proper authorization, burn pits were often the only way to dispose of trash since many areas were too dangerous to be near. The exposure to the pits has resulted in various health problems for service members, including respiratory problems, cancer, and neurological problems.

In many cases, the VA has denied benefits to military service members who have developed health problems due to exposure.

This is an injustice that must be addressed. The VA must recognize the connection between burn pits and veterans’ health problems and ensure that all service members affected receive the benefits they deserve.

Who Is Eligible?

There are a few eligibility requirements for VA death benefits.

  • The service member must have been discharged from the military under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • The death must have been caused by a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during military service.
  • The surviving spouse or child must be eligible for VA benefits in their own right.

The spouse of a deceased service member is generally entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation, which is a monthly payment that helps cover the costs associated with being widowed. The payment amount depends on several factors, including the spouse’s age and whether they have any dependent children.

In addition, the spouse may be entitled to receive reimbursement for some of their burial costs. This includes the cost of transporting the body from the place of death to the funeral home and any costs associated with the burial or cremation.

Children of deceased service members are also eligible for many burial allowance benefits. They may be entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation, just like the spouse, as well as educational assistance and special monthly payments known as Survivors’ Benefits.

These payments help cover the costs associated with being a child of a deceased service member and burial expenses.

Conclusion

The VA offers various burial allowance benefits to veterans and their families. These benefits can help cover the costs of medical health care, education, and living expenses. If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran, please visit the VA federal government websites to learn more about the benefits you may be eligible for.

Resources: