Surviving Spouses and Dependents



Links You Can Use

National Military Family Association
American Red Cross
Military Families Link

The Military Children and Youth Web
Military Assistance Program Website
Armed Forces Services Corporation


Caring for Surviving Spouses and Family Members

Public Law 108-454 extended eligibility for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance from 10 to 20 years for a surviving spouse or child of a servicemember who died on active duty. 

It also provided an additional $250 in dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) paid monthly to the surviving spouse with one or more children below the age of 18.  The additional benefit would be paid for months occurring during the 2-year period beginning on the date on which entitlement for DIC commenced.

Public Law 108-454 also excluded life insurance proceeds paid upon the death of a veteran from consideration as income for death pension benefits, provided that an award of death pension is effective the first day of the month in which the death occurred if the claim is received within one year from the date of the veteran’s death.

Public Law 108-183, the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, increased the rates for survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance.  On October 1, 2004, the rates for survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance increased to $803 for full-time students, $603 for three-quarter-time students, and $401 for half-time students.

Public Law 107-330, the Veterans Benefits Act of 2002, extended the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) to surviving spouses who remarry at age 55 or older.

Public Law 108-183 permitted a surviving spouse who remarries at age 57 or older to retain dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), home loan, and education benefits eligibility.

Lastly, Public Law 108-183 allowed a surviving spouse to retain eligibility for burial in a national cemetery based on the prior marriage to a deceased veteran.


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