An overview of the benefits for the spouses of deceased veterans, including pensions, healthcare, and more.

When people serve in the military, there are often questions about how the spouses of veterans who have passed away are taken care of. It’s really important to know about the help that their partners can get. This helps affect their money situation and how they’re doing overall after their loved one has died.

If a veteran passes away, their husband or wife who’s still alive might think about whether spouses of deceased veterans get benefits. They might also start to think about whether they’re eligible for any kind of support. For individuals who’ve lost a spouse who previously served in the military, receiving assistance after their passing can feel like receiving a helping hand during a challenging period. 

And it’s also good to talk about questions about whether someone who used to be married to a veteran can still get help. This helps make things clear about whether they can still get support.

Understanding the help that’s there for veterans and their families can be really hard. It’s like going through a maze. But looking into this stuff can help you see if husbands and wives of veterans who were very disabled can get help. And it helps them know when they can get special help for their situation from the VA. 

Do spouses of deceased veterans get benefits?

The Veterans Administration extends a range of benefits to former service members, encompassing disability compensation, healthcare, pensions, educational advantages, and insurance. Individuals often inquire about the entitlements for spouses of deceased veterans. Certainly, spouses have the potential to qualify for specific VA benefits, including:

  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Survivors Pension
  • Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits
  • Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program
  • Fry Scholarship
  • Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Death Benefits
  • VA Home Loan Guaranty
  • Burial Benefits

To qualify for spousal benefits, it all comes down to whether your marriage was legally recognized in the place where either you or your partner lived when you got married or when the eligible person started seeking the benefits. Also, marriages between people of the same sex are accepted regardless of where the veteran lived before or lives now.

Eligibility criteria for the spouse of deceased veterans to get benefits

A few important things decide if the husband or wife of a deceased veteran can get help. One big thing to know is the difference between deaths connected to the veteran’s service and deaths not connected to it. This difference is really important because it decides how much help the husband or wife can get. 

We want to explain these differences to make understanding the rules about getting help for veterans’ families easier. We’ll give information that’s easy to understand so that husbands and wives can know what to do when they need help. 

Connected to service vs. not connected to service 

First, it’s important to know how the veteran died and if it’s connected to their time in the military. There are two main types of deaths: those connected to service and those not. 

When the death is connected to service, it means the veteran got hurt or sick because of their military service, and that caused their death. In these cases, the surviving husband or wife can usually get more help, like money, healthcare, and help with education. 

But if the death isn’t connected to service, it means the veteran died because of other reasons, like getting old or having an accident after they left the military. Even in these cases, there might still be some help available, but it might not be as much. Things like how long the veteran served and how long the husband or wife was married to them decide if they can get help.

General eligibility requirements 

There are some general things that decide if spouses of deceased veterans get benefits. One thing is how long they were married to the veteran. Different programs that give help might need the couple to be married for a certain amount of time.

Another big thing is how the veteran died. If the death is connected to their military service, the surviving husband or wife usually gets more help. But even if the death isn’t connected to service, there are different rules. These rules look at how long the veteran served and how much the surviving husband or wife needed financial help.

Knowing these general rules is really important if you’re the husband or wife of a veteran who has passed away and you need help. We want to make it easy to understand these rules so that you can know what to do to get help after your husband or wife has died.

We’ll keep giving more important information about how to get help for veterans’ families so that you can know all your options.

Types of benefits available 

When we talk about the benefits for spouses of deceased veterans, it’s important to know about the different kinds of help they might get. This helps cover a lot of areas and is meant to give them money and support when things are hard.

Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) 

There’s help for education that can help husbands and wives go to school or get training for a job. It’s called the Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. This program gives help with education so husbands and wives can learn new things and have better opportunities in their personal and work lives.

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

Healthcare is really important, too. If you’re a husband or wife who can get help, you can use the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) to see doctors and get medical care. This is useful for people who can’t use TRICARE for help.

We want to make sure husbands and wives know about all these different kinds of help they can get. We’re giving this information to help them understand how they can get through this tough time.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) explains – what it is, who can get it, and how it works. 

Husbands and wives might be able to get a monthly payment called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This helps people whose veteran partners passed away because of something related to their time in the military. This payment gives them money to help with their expenses.

Getting Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) can really help husbands and wives. It’s a special kind of help from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

It gives money every month to people whose veteran partners died because of something related to their time in the military or while they were still working. This money helps them out when things are tough.

To get DIC, a few things need to be true. The veteran’s death has to be related to their time in the military, or they should have been getting money for something related to their time in the military when they passed away. 

The husband or wife should have been married to the veteran before they died. And if they got married after the veteran left the military, they might need to be married for a certain amount of time.

The amount of money from DIC can be different and might depend on things like how many kids the husband or wife has to take care of. To apply for DIC, they need to show some documents and meet the VA’s rules.

Understanding Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is really important if you’re a husband or wife whose veteran partner has passed away. We’re giving a lot of information about DIC to help you understand it better and make good choices when you need help.

Apart from Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which gives money, there are other kinds of help too. Spouses of deceased veterans might also get help with finding a place to live through the VA Home Loan program. This helps them find a home they can afford. This is useful for people who need a place to live after their veteran partner has passed away.

Knowing about these different kinds of help beyond just money is important for husbands and wives whose veteran partners have passed away. We’re giving a lot of information about healthcare, education, and housing to help them understand all the support that’s out there and make good decisions for the future.

Navigating the Application Process

Getting help after your veteran spouse has passed away involves a few important steps. These steps can give you important support during tough times. Knowing these steps and what you need to do is really important if you’re a spouse of a deceased veteran.

  • Gather documentation
  • Determine eligibility
  • Choose benefits
  • Complete application
  • Attach documentation
  • Submit application
  • Wait for review
  • Follow up

Gather documentation

First, gather important papers like your spouse’s records from their time in the military, papers showing they left the military, your marriage certificate, and the paper showing they passed away.

Determine eligibility 

Check if you can get help based on the rules for each kind of help. Make sure your spouse’s death was connected to their time in the military or fits the rules for the kind of help you want.

Choose benefits 

Decide which kind of help you want to ask for. You might be able to get things like money each month (called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or DIC), help with education, medical care, or help finding a home.

Complete application

Fill out the right form for the help you want. You might be able to do this online, which can be faster.

Attach documentation 

Attach the papers that show you can get help. This could be your marriage and death certificates and any other papers they ask for.

Submit application

Send your form and papers to the VA. It’s usually faster to do this online.

Wait for review 

The VA will look at your request and decide if you can get help. Sometimes, this takes longer, depending on the kind of help and your situation.

Follow up

If you need to, ask the VA about how your form is doing. They might ask for more information. Be prepared to provide any additional information requested.

To enhance your application experience, consider these tips:

  • Research benefits: Thoroughly research your eligible benefits to understand the criteria and requirements.
  • Organize documents: Create a well-organized folder with all required documents to easily access and submit during the application.
  • Be accurate: Provide accurate and complete information to avoid delays or rejections due to errors.
  • Apply online: Utilize online application options whenever available to streamline the process and receive faster responses.
  • Follow instructions: Follow the application instructions provided by the VA closely to avoid unnecessary delays.
  • Seek assistance: If you encounter challenges or have questions, contact VA representatives or organizations specializing in veteran support.

What are the challenges in receiving benefits for the spouse of deceased veterans?

Getting help after your veteran husband or wife has passed away can be tough. While these benefits are meant to give important support, there can be things that make it hard. It’s important to know about these challenges and how to deal with them.

Let’s talk about some common challenges that husbands and wives whose veteran partners have died might face. We’ll also give advice on how to handle them.

  • Eligibility verification
  • Document collection and submission 
  • Communication with authorities
  • Complex terminology and processes
  • Emotional strain 
  • Timely processing

Eligibility verification

Seeing if you can get help for specific things can be tricky because each program has different rules. It can not be very clear for husbands and wives to know if they meet the right conditions. 

To tackle this, do careful research. Learn about the rules for the help you want to get. You can also ask people who work for the VA or groups that help veterans for answers.

Document collection and submission 

Getting the papers you need, like your marriage certificate, your spouse’s military records, and papers showing they passed away, can be hard. If you don’t have all the right papers, your application might not be accepted or take longer. To deal with this:

  1. Make a list of all the papers you need for each kind of help.
  2. Keep them organized in a folder so it’s easy to show the VA everything they need.
  3. Before you send the papers, make sure they’re correct.

Communication with authorities

Talking to the VA office or other people in charge can be confusing. This is especially true if you want to know how your application is doing or have questions. To handle this:

  1. Be active in talking to them.
  2. Write down names, dates, and what you talk about.
  3. If things are taking too long, ask them again politely.

Sometimes, the VA has a phone line or a website where you can ask for help, so use that if you need it.

Complex terminology and processes

Understanding the words and rules the VA uses can be hard if you’re not used to them. To make this easier, try to break down the information. Look for guides, websites, or workshops that explain things in simple terms. When you understand things better, you can make better choices and fill out your application more easily.

Emotional strain 

Going through the process of getting help while also dealing with the loss of a loved one can be really sad. Handling your feelings while dealing with all the paperwork and rules can be tough.

To manage this, consider talking to a counselor, joining a group that supports people going through the same thing, or finding help from your community. Taking care of how you feel is just as important as doing the paperwork.

Timely processing

Waiting to hear if you can get help can be frustrating. Husbands and wives might not know how long it will take to get the help they need. To deal with this, find out how long it usually takes for different kinds of help. While you wait, keep in touch and ask for updates from the VA.

Dealing with these challenges takes time, patience, and a smart approach. Knowing what could be hard and planning for it can make things easier. Remember, you’re not alone in this. You can find resources online, ask for help from people who know, and get assistance when you need it.

By staying determined and taking careful steps, you can face the challenges, get the support you should have as the husband or wife of a veteran, and find stability during this tough time.

Impact of remarriage on benefits

The intricacies of how spouses of deceased veterans get benefits often extend to remarriage. While these benefits aim to provide vital support, understanding how remarriage can affect eligibility is crucial for surviving spouses seeking assistance.

  • Effects of remarriage 
  • Conditions for benefit impact
  • Reinstating benefits
  • Complex eligibility scenarios
  • Seeking guidance

Effects of remarriage 

If you get married again after your veteran spouse has passed away, it might change if you can get help. Sometimes, when you remarry, you might not be able to get the same help you were getting before. This can be confusing and tough to figure out. You might wonder if you can still get the help you were getting after your first spouse passed away.

Conditions for benefit impact

The impact of remarriage on your benefits depends on the kind of help you’re getting. For example, if you get money each month (called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or DIC), your benefits might stop if you get married again. The same might happen with the benefits of education.

Reinstating benefits

In some situations, you can get your benefits back if your new marriage ends. This could be because of a divorce, annulment, or if your new spouse passes away. If you’re older than 57 and you remarry, you might still be able to get DIC payments even after your new marriage. And if the remarriage wasn’t really valid, your benefits might go back to how they were before you remarried.

Complex eligibility scenarios

What happens to your benefits after remarriage can be different depending on a lot of things. It might be about the kind of help you’re getting, how old you are, and what happened when you remarried. To really understand what will happen to your benefits, you need to find out about your own situation.

Seeking guidance

Because figuring out how remarriage changes your benefits can be confusing, it’s a good idea to talk to people who know a lot about this stuff. People who work for the VA, groups that help veterans, and legal professionals who know about veterans’ benefits can give you good advice.

To sum it up, how remarriage affects help for widows and widowers of veterans is a tricky thing. It might stop some benefits, but in some cases, you can get them back. To know for sure what will happen to your benefits, you need to look into your own situation and get advice from experts.

Available resources and support regarding spousal benefits

Losing a beloved partner who served in the military can be an emotionally trying experience for spouses. However, amidst the grief, surviving spouses must understand that they might be entitled. 

Surviving spouses can turn to various reputable resources for accurate and reliable information. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website is a primary hub for information on benefits for veterans’ families. It provides comprehensive details on VA survivor benefits eligibility, application processes, and timelines. 

Additionally, the Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program offers educational benefits to eligible spouses of veterans. This program’s webpage is an invaluable resource for those seeking educational support.

Apart from government sources, numerous veteran service organizations extend their guidance and support to surviving spouses. The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are renowned for aiding veterans’ families in understanding the benefits they might qualify for. 

These organizations often provide local chapters that offer personalized assistance, making the process more manageable and less overwhelming. To address specific concerns, let’s tackle some common questions:

Do spouses of 100% disabled veterans get benefits?

Absolutely. Surviving spouses of veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating might be eligible for the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefit. This compensation helps alleviate financial stress and acknowledges the sacrifices made by the family.

Do ex-spouses of deceased veterans get benefits? 

In certain cases, yes. If marriage to a veteran ended in divorce, but the veteran’s death occurred due to a service-connected disability, the ex-spouse might still be eligible for DIC benefits. This emphasizes the VA’s recognition of the lasting impact of military service.

Are spouses of veterans eligible for VA benefits? 

Indeed, they are. Eligible surviving spouses can access various benefits, including financial assistance, healthcare, education, and home loan guarantees. These benefits aim to provide stability and support to families left behind by military personnel.

How long does it take to get VA survivor benefits? 

The timeline can vary. Processing times for VA survivor benefits depend on factors such as the case’s complexity, the application’s completeness, and the availability of necessary documents. While some claims might be processed swiftly, others could take more time.

Navigating the benefits and support might feel daunting, but surviving spouses can find solace and aid with the right resources. 

In conclusion, spouses of deceased veterans undoubtedly have access to a range of benefits and support mechanisms. The VA benefits are designed to honor the sacrifice of both the veteran and their family.

Through government agencies like the VA, veteran service organizations like The American Legion and VFW, and educational programs like DEA, surviving spouses can find the guidance they need. The journey might have its challenges, but with perseverance and the right resources, spouses can secure the benefits they rightfully deserve.

Real-life stories and testimonials regarding spousal benefits of deceased veterans 

The stories of real people tell us how important it is for widows and widowers to get help after their veteran partner passes away. These stories show how much help can matter to the people left behind by veterans who served their country.

One story comes from Jane, whose husband was in the military and died because of something related to his service. Jane didn’t know what to do after her husband passed away, but she got help from an organization that supports veterans.

With their help, Jane went through the process to get benefits. These benefits helped her family with money and healthcare. Jane’s story shows how getting help at the right time can change things for the better, even when times are tough.

Michael is another person with a special story. Her husband was a veteran with a disability, and when he died, she didn’t know about a special kind of help called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

Michael found out about DIC through other widows who were in the same situation. DIC helped her and her children with money for their future. This kind of support made a big difference in their lives.

Another story is about Sarah. She used to be married to a veteran, but they got divorced before he passed away. Sarah found out that she could still get benefits if her ex-husband’s death were connected to his time in the military. This changed her life because it made things easier for her financially.

Peter’s story also shows how benefits can make a big impact. After his veteran wife died, Peter got help from the VA. He got medical care, money for education, and financial support. These benefits helped him during a tough time and showed him that his wife’s service was appreciated.

These stories show us how important it is to know about VA benefits and how to get them. The time it takes to get benefits might be different for everyone, but the stories all show that getting help can really change lives.

We hope these stories inspire other widows and widowers to look into the benefits they can get. It’s important to know that there’s help available after losing a veteran partner.


Honoring veterans means honoring their supportive spouses. Exploring benefits for widows and widowers reveals the practical help available during tough times. This journey shows that spouses of veterans with VA benefits can access various aid for themselves. Understanding these benefits, like VA survivor benefits‘ timeline, aids families after losing a veteran.

Benefit awareness empowers us. Share this with those who could use it, whether they lost a veteran partner or helped military families, spreading knowledge matters. Remember, it’s about impacting lives. By sharing and supporting, we form a community for widows, widowers, and families.


Nabeel Ahmad is the founder and editor-in-chief of Lone Mind. Apart from Lone Mind, he is a serial entrepreneur, and has founded multiple successful companies in different industries.

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