VA Survivors Pension
A VA Survivors Pension offers monthly payments to qualified surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children of wartime Veterans. However, the pension is not automatically given and survivors have to apply. Below are the steps a survivor can take to determine if their situation is covered by the pension and how to apply.
Steps to take to receive a VA Survivors Pension
Step 2: Check if you currently meet the criteria to be eligible.
Step 3: Apply
STEP 1: The Veteran
Covered War Periods include:
- Mexican Border period (May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or in adjacent waters)
- World War I (April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918)
- World War II (December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946)
- Korean conflict (June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam War era (February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served outside of the Republic of Vietnam.)
- Gulf War (August 2, 1990, through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation)
STEP 2: Your eligibility for VA Survivors Pension
To be eligible as a surviving spouse you need to have:
- Not remarried after the Veteran’s death, and
- Your yearly family income and net worth must meet certain limits set by congress. You can check the current limits here.
To be eligible as a surviving child you need to be either:
- Under the age of 18, or
- Under the age of 23 and attending a VA-approved school, or
- Unable to care for yourself due to a disability that happened before the age of 18.
STEP 3: How to Apply
If you have determined that you may be eligible for VA Survivors Pension you need to complete an application by filling out form VA form 21-534EZ. To apply you can:
- Mail your application to the pension management center for your state or,
- Bring your application to a regional VA office, or
- Work with a trained professional or organization to get help with applying