Which Family Members Are Covered Under Veterans' Health Care Benefits?

Family members covered under veterans' health care benefits programs vary based on the particular program, but typically include spouses, widowed spouses and dependent children, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration. As of 2015, there are at least five health care benefits programs that cover family members.

Programs covering family members under certain circumstances include the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, often referred to as CHAMPVA, and the Foreign Medical and Spina Bifida health care programs. Other options are the Children of Women Vietnam Veterans and the Caregiver programs, explains the VA.

CHAMPVA covers qualifying family members of a veteran who has a permanent and total disability rating resulting from a service-connected disability, or was so rated at death, explains the VA. Family members are also eligible if the member died while on active duty, or died of a service-connected disability. The coverage applies to dependents who are ineligible for benefits under the Department of Defense TRICARE program.

Each individual health care program has its own eligibility criteria.