Benefit Details
Survivors Pension
Managing Agency Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

Program Description

Survivors pension is a needs-based benefit paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime Veterans.

General Program Requirements

To qualify for this benefit, you must be the surviving spouse or child of a deceased wartime Veteran. Children may be eligible if they are
  • under the age of 18,
  • between the ages of 18 and 23 and enrolled in a VA-approved educational/training institution, or
  • permanently incapable of self-support prior to the age of 18
Wartime Service Requirements:
World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Gulf War
04/06/1917 to 07/01/1921 12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946 06/27/1950 to 01/31/1955 02/28/1961 to 05/07/1975
*Between 02/28/1961 to 08/04/1964 had to have served in country Vietnam
08/02/1990 through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law

Veterans who entered active duty after September 7, 1980, must have served 24 months of continuous service or the full period for which called to serve.

Income and net worth limits apply. Higher income limits may apply if the surviving spouse is severely disabled or has custody of the Veteran's dependent children. In addition, unreimbursed medical expenses may help to reduce the survivor's countable income.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

To complete an application, use VA Form 21-534EZ, "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits."

For more specific information, download the Fact Sheets.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions:
  • Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question on-line
  • Call 1-800-827-1000
  • Call 1-800-829-4833, if you are hearing impaired
To apply for additional benefits and view your benefit status, open an eBenefits Premium account. eBenefits is a one-stop source for information on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services. With a free Premium level eBenefits account, Veterans, Servicemembers and their families can conduct self-service transactions such as checking claim status information, GI Bill enrollment, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, DD214, and other personal information. For further information and to register for a free Premium level account, visit the eBenefits website.