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Survivor's Benefits


Qualified dependents of deceased veterans may be eligible for VA benefits to include Dependency & Indemnity Compensation, Survivor's Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits.


Survivors Pension, which was formerly referred to as Death Pension, is a tax-free benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.


Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit. It is paid to eligible survivors of:

  • Service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training, OR
  • Veterans who died as a result of a service-connected injury or disease, OR
  • Veterans who did not die as a result of a service-connected injury or disease, but were totally disabled by a service-connected disability: o For at least 10 years before death, OR
  • Since their release from active duty and for at least five years before death, OR
  • For at least one year before death, if they were a former prisoner of war and died after Sept. 30, 1999.


Accrued benefits are benefits that are due, but not paid prior to a Veteran’s death. Examples include:

1.  A claim or appeal for a recurring benefit was pending at the time of death, but all evidence needed for a favorable decision was in VA’s possession.

2.  A claim for a recurring benefit had been allowed, but the beneficiary died before award.

3.  At the time of death, one or more benefit checks were not deposited or negotiated.


What to bring to your meeting with your Veteran Service Representative


  1. DD214  and other discharge documentation for the Veteran
  2. SSN for both Veteran and Spouse
  3. Marriage License
  4. Death Certificate of the Veteran
  5. Copy of Social Security Award/Retirement Pensions/Annuities, if applicable
  6. Statements of CD's / Mutual funds / IRA's / Stocks / Bonds
  7. Living Trust, if applicable
  8. List of all current and monthly medical expenses
  9. One-time medical expenses and copays for the last 12 months
  10. Direct Deposit Information to include routing number, account number, and bank name


If the spouse requires added assistance in the form of Housebound or Aid & Attendance, please have the doctor complete a VA Form 21-2680 - Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent need for regular Aid & Attendance.  Click HERE for a copy of the form.  Once the doctor completes this form, please bring with it you to the Fresno VSO office to include in your application for benefits.