How do you claim veterans' benefits for a spouse or child?


Quick Answer

Spouses and children of deceased veterans may be eligible to receive the Survivors Pension benefit by applying directly to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Numerous criteria must be met to be eligible for these benefits, notes the VA website.

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Full Answer

The Survivors Pension is only available to spouses who have a low income and who remain unmarried after the death of their spouse. Veterans who served prior to Sept. 7, 1980, must have served a total of at least 90 days in the military, with at least one of those days being during a time of war. Veterans who enlisted after that date must have served a total of 24 months or served at least a day during a war-time period, the VA site states.

The age of a spouse receiving these benefits does not matter. However, children are not eligible to receive these benefits once they reach the age of 18 unless they have a disability that makes them unable to support themselves and the disability occurred at some point prior to the age of 18. That age limit can be extended up to 23 if the child in question is attending a VA-approved school, the VA website notes.

Applicants must also have a yearly income that falls below the limit set by Congress in order to be eligible for the Survivors Pension, says the VA site .

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