Through the Veterans Benefits Administration, there are four types of benefits that spouses of deceased veterans can apply to receive as of 2015: dependency and indemnity compensation, a survivor’s pension, home loans and educational assistance, and scholarships. The survivor’s pension and the dependency and indemnity compensation are both tax-free financial benefits.
To qualify for the survivor’s pension, deceased veterans who served before Sept. 7, 1980, must have served one or more days during wartime and must have been to on active duty for at least 90 days. Those who started active-duty service after Sept. 7, 1980, must have served at least two years and one or more days during wartime. Deceased veterans must not have received a dishonorable discharge. Surviving spouses must not earn more than the annual pension limit that Congress sets and must also be single and considered low-income.
To be eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation, a wife must have been married to the veteran for at least one year, have been married to him before Jan. 1, 1957, or have been married to a veteran who died on active duty, active duty training or inactive duty training. A wife is also eligible if she was married to the veteran within 15 years of his military discharge and the time-frame of the military-related injury or disease that led to his death.