The Department of Veterans Affairs' Survivors Pension (also known as the "death pension") is a tax-free benefit paid to eligible dependents of deceased wartime veterans.
VA Survivors Pension Eligibility
You may be eligible if:
- The deceased veteran was discharged from service under other-than-dishonorable conditions, AND
- They served 24 months or more of active duty with at least one day during wartime, AND
- You are the un-remarried surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND
- You have a combined net worth and income of $155,356 or less
Your net worth does not include your house or vehicle. It does include savings and investments plus things such as furniture. Check with VA for more information.
Survivors Pension Payment Amount
VA pays you the difference between your countable income and the yearly income limit that describes your situation (see chart below). This difference is generally paid in 12 equal monthly payments rounded down to the nearest dollar.
|2024 Income Limits (Effective Dec. 1, 2023)
|If you are a...
|Your yearly income must be less than...
|Surviving spouse with no dependent children
|Surviving spouse with one dependent child
|(Add $2,831 to the limit for each additional child)
|Housebound surviving spouse with no dependents
|Housebound surviving spouse with one dependent
|Surviving spouse who needs aid and attendance with no dependents
|Surviving spouse who needs aid and attendance with one dependent
|Surviving child (no eligible parent)
Note: Some income is not counted toward the yearly limit (for example, medical costs, welfare benefits, or some wages earned by dependent children)
Survivors Pension Application Process
You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Survivors Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child (Including Death Compensation if Applicable). If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage and children's birth certificates).
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