Did you have a loved one who died during or after service in the armed forces? Many survivors-widows, widowers, or parents and children of service members-are unaware of the benefits available to them through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
VA benefits can provide some financial support for survivors after they experience their loss. A brief overview of the available benefits is below.
A burial allowance may help defray costs associated with the veteran's funeral and burial. It includes:
- A National Cemetery burial;
- A plot allowance, if the grave is situated outside a National Cemetery;
- A headstone or marker, wherever the grave is situated;
- An American flag
- Presidential memorial certificates for family and friends, upon request.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Surviving spouses, who do not remarry until after age 56, and dependent children are entitled to a monthly benefit if the service member died during active military service; died after military service because of a service-connected disability; or were rated as totally disabled for a period of ten years prior to death.
Death Pension Benefit
A stipend is paid monthly to the surviving spouse of wartime veterans whose death was not due to a service-connected disability. The amount payable is limited and varies, based on the amount of other income.
Education Program Refund
The GI Bill, which provides for education costs, is available to survivors of a veteran who died while on active duty or within one year of separation or discharge due to a service-connected disability. The Veterans Educational Assistance Program entitles a designated survivor to be reimbursed for contributions to the Veterans' Group Life Insurance Program that were not paid to the veteran in benefits.
When a Survivor Needs Help
Should you need assistance in determining your eligibility for a survivor's claim or the extent of your claim, you can contact a Michigan VA Benefits Eligibility Attorney who is experienced in survivor benefits claims. Whether help is needed in determining eligibility, filing the claims, or contesting a claim that has been denied, a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you get the benefits that you are legally entitled to.