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Do Spouses of 100% Disabled Veterans Get Benefits After Death?

Service officers are often asked if Spouses of 100% disabled Veterans are eligible for any benefits after the Veteran’s death. There is the (erroneous) idea that the Veterans disability benefits transfer to the spouse, but this is not the case. When the Veteran passes, the disability benefit ends. However, there are some benefits which the spouse may be eligible to receive.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC is a monthly monetary benefit paid to eligible surviving spouses of veterans who died due to a service-connected disability or as a result of a disability related to their military service. In addition, if the Veteran passed for reasons not related to their service-connected disability, eligibility is dependent on the length of time that a Veteran was rated 100%. In general, the length of time is 10 years. This means if the Veteran was rated as 100% disabled for 10 years and passed from conditions not related to their service-connected disability, the spouse would likely still be eligible for DIC. 

The amount of DIC depends on various factors including number of dependents. The amount of DIC does NOT depend on income. DIC is a monetary benefit with a set amount depending on the spouses circumstances. As of 2023, the starting monthly amount of DIC for a surviving spouse is $1,562.74.  This may increase depending on certain factors.

Survivor’s Pension (Death Pension): If the surviving spouse is not eligible for DIC but has limited income and meets certain criteria, they may be eligible for the Survivor’s Pension. It is important to note that this is a needs-based benefit that provides additional financial support. For more information on survivors pension see this post.

Healthcare Benefits: Spouses of deceased 100% disabled veterans may be eligible for continued access to VA healthcare services through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA). This program covers medical expenses and services not provided by the VA to eligible dependents.

Education and Training: In some cases, surviving spouses may be eligible for educational assistance under Chapter 35 benefits. This benefit is also known as the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational and Assistance program . This benefit can help spouses pursue educational or vocational training opportunities. 

Home Loan Guaranty: The VA provides home loan guaranty benefits to eligible surviving spouses, allowing them to obtain favorable terms and conditions for home loans.

It’s important to note that eligibility for these benefits can be complex and dependent on various factors, including the veteran’s service-connected disability rating and the circumstances of the spouse. To determine eligibility and apply for benefits, we always suggest contacting your local Veteran Service Office for assistance.

If you have any questions or comments on this information, feel free to leave us a message below or email us at info@nwavet.org.

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  1. Hi, I’m 100% disabled from the Army after serving in Vietnam (Agent Orange). I have prostate cancer and have been receiving this benefit for roughly five years. My question is, “if I pass away, does my wife get any of this?” I don’t plan on dying any time soon. We’re curious. Thank you, Richard Hunt

    1. Hello Richard. First of all, thank you for your Service. As the post says, it depends on a few different things. If you end up dying from a service connected disability, then she most likely should would be eligible for DIC. If you have held the 100% rating for at least 10 years and then die, even if it is not from a service connected condition, she should be eligible for DIC due to the length of time you were 100% disabled. As we always advise, the best thing would be to seek assistance from a local Veteran Service Officer. One thing I would highly suggest to make things easier for your wife. Take a look at this blog post: https://nwavet.org/va-benefits/the-next-steps/. I have a 3 ring binder on the bookcase for my wife with all of the needed information in it that she would need and I advise every Veteran to have one to make it easier on their spouse.

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