©2014 - Medina County Veteran Services

VA Survivor Benefits

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BURIAL

Reimbursement of Burial Expenses – A burial allowance may be paid to help offset expenses of the Veteran’s funeral and burial. The allowance is payable for

Veterans who:

  • died of a service-connected disability, or
  • were in receipt of compensation of pension, or retired pay in lieu thereof, or
  • died in a VA facility.

Plot Allowance If not buried in a national cemetery, a plot allowance may be payable for Veterans who:

  • were discharged for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or
  • were in receipt of compensation or pension, or retired pay in lieu thereof, or
  • died in a VA facility.

National Cemetery Most Veterans, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible for burial in one of VA’s National Cemeteries at no cost to the family. Many states have Veterans cemeteries, built with VA grants,with similar benefits.

Headstone or Marker VA provides a headstone or marker for Veterans buried in any cemetery worldwide.

Flag An American flag is provided to drape the casket or accompany the urn of an eligible Veteran. The flag is presented to the Veteran’s next of kin upon burial.

Presidential Memorial Certificates Family and other loved ones may request these personalized certificates.


DEPENDENCY & INDEMNITY COMPENSATION (DIC) DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of a:
military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training,  OR veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediately before death, OR since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

 WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The surviving spouse if he or she:
validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
was married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran’s death began or was aggravated, OR
was married to the veteran for at least one year, OR
had a child with the veteran, AND cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND is not currently remarried.*

Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.
The surviving child(ren), if he/she is: not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC unmarried AND under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

Note: Certain helpless adult children are entitled to DIC. Call the toll-free number below for the eligibility requirements. The surviving parent(s) may be eligible for an income-based benefit. See our fact sheet, Parents’ DIC.

HOW MUCH DOES VA PAY?
The basic monthly rate of DIC is $1,154 for an eligible surviving spouse. The rate is increased for each dependent child, and also if the surviving spouse is housebound or in need of aid and attendance. VA also adds a transitional benefit of $286 to the surviving spouse’s monthly DIC if there are children under age 18. The amount is based on a family unit, not individual children. Benefit rate tables, including those for children alone and parents, can be found on the Internet at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates or call the toll-free number below.


SURVIVORS PENSION BENEFITS (FORMERLY DEATH PENSION)
WHAT VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES SHOULD KNOW WHEN APPLYING FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) PENSION BENEFITS    

WHAT IS SURVIVORS PENSION?

Survivors pension is a needs-based benefit paid to surviving spouses and children of wartime Veterans, who meet certain age, disability, and marriage requirements.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

You may be eligible if:
  • the deceased Veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
  • he or she served 90 days or more of active military, naval or air service with at least 1 day during a period of war*, AND
  • you are the unmarried surviving spouse (or previously married and the marriage was terminated prior to November 1, 1990); OR
  • you are the unmarried child of the deceased Veteran who is under 18, who became permanently helpless before 18, or is between 18 and 23 and pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution, AND
  • your countable income is below the maximum annual pension rate, AND
  • you meet the net worth limitations.
*If the deceased Veteran entered active duty after September 7, 1980, he or she must have served at least 24 months of active duty service. If the total length of service is less than 24 months, the Veteran must have completed his/her entire tour of active duty.

HOW MUCH DOES VA PAY?
VA calculates annual pension by first determining for your particular circumstances the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR), an amount set by Congress. For example, if you are a surviving spouse with no dependent children, the MAPR is $8,219. Next, VA determines your countable income. VA determines countable income by subtracting from your total annual income the amount of those exclusions provided by law. VA then subtracts from the MAPR your countable income; the difference is your yearly pension entitlement. VA divides this amount by 12 and rounds down to the nearest dollar, this is the approximate amount of your monthly pension payment.

DEATH PENSION RATES FOR SURVIVING SPOUSE (12/1/2013)
  • Increase Factor: 1.5%
  • Standard Medicare Deduction: $104.90

Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR) Category Amount
MAPR Without Dependent Child $8,485
To be deducted, medical expenses must exceed 5% of MAPR or $ 424
MAPR With One Dependent Child $11,107
To be deducted, medical expenses must exceed 5% of MAPR or $555
Housebound Without Dependents $10,371
Housebound With One Dependent $12,988
A&A Without Dependents $13,563
A&A Without Dependents (SAW Veteran's Surviving Spouse) $14,113
A&A With One Dependent $16,180
A&A With One Dependent (SAW Veteran's Surviving Spouse) $16,671
SBP/MIW Annuity Limitation $8,485
Add for Each Additional Child $2,161
MAPR FOR CHILD ALONE $2,161

VA deducts certain expenses paid by you, e.g., unreimbursed medical expenses, from your annual household income, which will decrease your countable income and increase your monthly pension payment. A complete list of these exclusions is provided in section 3.272 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations.
  

EDUCATION AND TRAINING   Education and training benefits are available to unmarried surviving spouses and dependent children of: 
 

  • servicemembers who die during active military service, or
  • Veterans who die of a service-connected disability, or
  • Veterans who were rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability at the time of death.

There are time limits for use of this benefit. A surviving spouse has 10 years from the date that eligibility is established, but 20 years if the Veteran died while on active duty. Children are eligible from age 18 to 26. Educational and vocational counseling, and employment as a work-study student, are also available.

*See note about restoration of entitlement


HOME LOAN GUARANTY The unmarried surviving spouse of a Veteran whose death was service-connected is generally eligible for this program. VA guarantees loans to purchase a home, including a condominium or manufactured home, or to refinance an existing home loan.

*See note about restoration of entitlement


HEALTH CARE The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) provides coverage for unmarried surviving spouses and children of Veterans who:

  • died of a service-connected disability, or
  • were permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability at the time of death, or
  • died in service in the line of duty, and the dependents are not eligible for Department of Defense TRICARE benefits.

*Note: Restoration of Entitlement – Entitlement may be restored for a surviving spouse who remarried after the Veteran’s death if the remarriage ended in death, divorce, or annulment. A surviving spouse that remarries at age 57 or older, or at age 55 or older for CHAMPVA entitlement, generally retains entitlement to DIC, home loan guaranty, and education and training benefits.


LIFE INSURANCE PROCEEDS The Veteran may have had an active life insurance policy with VA. Such policies include:

  • United States Government Life Insurance
  • National Service Life Insurance
  • Veterans Special Life Insurance
  • Veterans Reopened Insurance
  • Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
  • Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance
  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)*
  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)*

EDUCATION PROGRAM REFUND Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) - If the Veteran died while on active duty, or within one year of separation or discharge due to a service-connected disability, the beneficiary of the Veteran’s SGLI or VGLI policy is eligible for a refund of the Veteran’s MGIB military pay reductions which were not paid to the Veteran in benefits. Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) - A Veteran’s designated survivor is eligible to be refunded the Veteran’s VEAP contributions that were not paid to the Veteran in benefits.


RELATED BENEFITS

CIVIL SERVICE PREFERENCE The unmarried surviving spouse of certain deceased Veterans (for example, war-time Veterans) may qualify for hiring preference within the Federal Government. The mother of a Veteran who died during military service is also eligible. VA provides an eligibility certification upon request.

COMMISSARY AND EXCHANGE PRIVILEGES  The Armed Forces provide commissary and exchange privileges to the unremarried surviving spouse of Veterans who die of a service-connected disability. VA provides an eligibility certification upon request.


CONTACT VA

Toll-Free Telephone Assistance For more information about specific benefits, visit the nearest VA Regional Office or call: (800) 827-1000

Other VA Toll-Free Numbers:

  • CHAMPVA (800) 733-8387
  • Education & Training (888) 442-4551
  • Home Loan Eligibility Center (888) 244-6711
  • VA life Insurance (800) 669-8477
  • Office of Servicemembers’
  • Group Life Insurance (800) 419-1473
  • (SGLI/VGLI)
  • Direct Deposit (877) 838-2778
  • Headstones/Markers
  • (status of claims only) (800) 697-6947
  • Telecommunications
  • Device for the Deaf (TDD) (800) 829-4833

Internet:  Information about the wide range of VA benefits and services, including benefit rates, is available at  http://www.vba.va.gov/survivors
 


Medina County Veterans' Service Office
210 Northland Dr.  Medina, Ohio 44256 ♦ Phone: 330.722.9368 ♦ FAX: 330.722.9378 ♦ E-mail: veterans@medinacountyveterans.org
Office Hours ♦ Monday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday   8:00 AM - 4:00 PM ♦ Tuesday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Closed Noon – 1:00 PM for Lunch)

Service for Those That Served and Their Families, "Because We Are Family”