“No-Fee” passports are available to survivors for the express purpose of visiting their loved-one’s grave if it is located in an American military cemetery on foreign soil.
VA Vet Centers provide bereavement counseling to all family members of a deceased service member or veteran. Call 202-461-6530 for more information.
To find out more about any of the veterans and survivors’ benefits detailed above, contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs at 800-827-1000 for more detailed information.
DEATH GRATUITY PAYMENT
If a service member dies while on active duty, during training or as a result of a service-connected injury or illness then the eligible next of kin will automatically be paid $100,000 by military services. If a retiree dies within 120 days of separation due to a service-related illness or injury, eligible beneficiaries will receive a one-time payment of $12,420.
DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION (DIC)
DIC is available for dependents if a service member dies during active duty, during active duty for training or due to an injury, illness or aggravation of an injury or illness incurred during these times. Apply for DIC using VA Form 21-534. Monthly payments are made based on a number of factors such as the dates of service, the number of dependents in the home and the income of the recipient.
Low-income survivors of a veteran may be eligible to receive a death pension. The veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and have had 90 days of active military service. The monthly payment is determined by the survivor’s income and living situation. Apply for Death Pension using VA Form 21-534.
SURVIVORS’ & DEPENDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE (DEA)
Qualifying dependents of a deceased veteran may be eligible to receive educational assistance no more than 10 years after the date of death. The death of the veteran must have been service-connected. The eligibility period for spouses of deceased service members who were on active duty at the time of death is no more than 20 years after the date of death. Fill out VA Form 22-5490 to apply for DEA.
VA HOME LOAN GUARANTY
The surviving spouse of a veteran who died as a result of service-connected disabilities is provided with one guaranteed home loan. The spouse must be unmarried or cannot be remarried until after the age of 57 in order to qualify. Fill out VA Form 26-1817 to apply for the Home Loan Guaranty.