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VA - Survivor's Payments - Death Pension

Disability Assistance > VA - Survivor's Payments - Death Pension


Program Description:

Death pension is a benefit paid to eligible dependents (surviving spouse and/or child) of deceased wartime veterans whose deaths were not related to military service.


General Program Requirements:

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be the surviving spouse or child of a veteran who served at least 90 days of active duty with one day of wartime service. The veteran??s discharge from service must have been given under other than dishonorable conditions.

Income limits apply. Effective December 1, 2006, the income limit for a surviving spouse without children is $7,329, while the income limit for a surviving child is $1,866. Higher income limits may apply if the surviving spouse is severely disabled or has custody of any dependent children of the veteran.

If your medical expenses are high, the benefit may help to offset your countable income.

More About the Veteran??s Military Service

For veterans who first entered service after September 7, 1980, there??s an additional requirement beyond the 90 day service rule. In most cases, the veteran must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which he or she was called or ordered to active duty. There are some exceptions.

National Guard and Reserve members who were activated for federal military service and later separated are considered to be veterans. In most cases, the veterans need not have served 24 months.

Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considered to be active duty members and veterans, once discharged.





Loan Terms:

Not Applicable


Application Process:

For more information, see the Program Contact Information below.


Program Contact Information:

To determine whether you are eligible to receive VA death pension, a surviving spouse or child must first complete VA Form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits. VA can send the form if you call 1-800-827-1000.

You can download the form at

Additional information on this program may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at:

If you have questions about how to complete the Application for Pension, you can call VA at this toll-free number:

People who are hearing impaired may call this toll-free TTY number:


Managing Agency:

Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

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