Veterans Benefits Information

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Survivors Pension

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The Survivors Pension benefit, which may also be referred to as Death Pension, is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.

Eligibility

The deceased Veteran must have met the following service requirements:

  • For service on or before September 7, 1980, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, with at least one day during a war time period.
  • If he or she entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty with at least one day during a war time period.
  • Was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.

Survivors Pension is also based on your yearly family income, which must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify.

While an un-remarried spouse is eligible at any age, a child of a deceased wartime Veteran must be:

  • Under 18, OR
  • Under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school, OR
  • Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18

Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Survivors Pension benefit. Learn more about income and net worth limitation, and see an example of how VA calculates the Survivors Pension benefit.

How to Apply

To apply for Survivors Pension, fill out and submit the Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by Surviving Spouse or Child (VA Form 21-534) form. You can access this form by:

  • Downloading it at www.va.gov/vaforms
  • Calling VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 to have a claim form mailed to you
  • Visiting your local VA regional office

You must send the completed application and any copies of other documents to the VA regional office that serves your area of residence.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 15:01  


Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at www.archives.gov