Program Description

Survivors Pension is a tax-free benefit payable by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and unmarried dependent child(ren) of a deceased wartime Veteran.

General Program Requirements

To qualify for this benefit, the claimant must be the eligible surviving spouse or child(ren) 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:

 

Mexican Border Period World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Gulf War

05/09/1916 to 04/05/1917

Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or adjacent waters

04/06/1917 to 11/11/1918

If the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the ending date is April 1, 1920
12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946 06/27/1950 to 01/31/1955 02/28/1961 to 05/07/1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise 08/05/1964 to 05/07/1975 08/02/1990 through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law


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 paid by the survivor may help to reduce the survivor's countable income.

For more specific information, refer to the Survivors Pension factsheet.

 

Your Next Steps

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

Application Process

To complete an application, use VA Form 21P-534EZ "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits", and mail or fax it to the VA Pension Management Center (PVMC) that serves your state. Check the PMC Locator to find the PMC having jurisdiction over your claim.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions:

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 family members can conduct self-service transactions such as checking claim status information, enrolling in GI Bill, 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.

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