The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for providing benefits to U.S. military veterans. Most veterans are eligible to receive at least one type of benefit, such as getting help to find a job or disability payments. For cases in which the veteran is disabled, family members may qualify to receive specific benefits, such as health insurance (CHAMPVA). If the veteran dies, the Department of Veterans Affairs pays survivor benefits to his family members.
VA Disability Compensation
The VA Disability Compensation program is a Department of Veterans Affairs benefit for veterans who have a service-connected disability. Other eligibility requirements include having served in the military for at least 90 days and at least one day during a war period. Unlike other veterans programs, you are not required to have low income to qualify to receive these benefits. However, if your disability did not occur or develop during your service, it must at least have become worse due to service.
If you qualify for VA Disability Compensation benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs sends you monthly payments for as long as your condition continues and you keep your eligibility status. The amount of benefits you are eligible to receive varies according to how your disability is rated. Veterans with a disability rated 10 percent, are eligible to receive $123 per month. Those with disability rated 100 percent may be eligible to receive up to $3,172 per month. Having a dependent spouse, children or parents also affects how much you are eligible to receive.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also pays benefits to surviving family members of deceased veterans. Some survivor benefits programs require the veteran to have died while in service, and some benefits are for family members of veterans who died at home or while in service. Family members who are eligible to receive survivor benefits may include a spouse, children or parents, depending on the program. Eligibility also depends on the deceased veteran's military status and his own eligibility to receive benefits.
Survivor Benefit Programs
As a surviving family member, you may be eligible to receive benefits from different programs. You may be eligible to receive VA Death Pension benefits, which are monthly benefits paid to spouse and children of deceased veterans who have low incomes. Dependents' Educational Assistance helps the spouses and children of deceased veterans to receive education benefits. This program provides up to 45 months of education benefits to eligible family members. CHAMPVA is a health insurance program for family members of veterans who died due to a service-related disabilities or who were totally and permanently disabled when they died.