What Are the Benefits for Widows of Veterans?

Widows of U.S. Military veterans are eligible for a number of government benefits, most notably a pension and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. The Veterans Administration requires that widows’ deceased veteran husbands actively served for at least 90 days, at least one of which was during a time of war.

To quality for a pension, a widow’s income must be relatively low. The amount of a monthly pension for qualifying widows depends on each woman’s financial need as well as whether or not she requires routine in-home assistance. The more help a housebound widow needs, the higher the pension amount she is likely to receive.

Qualifications for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation include the deceased veteran having died while on active duty, died from a disease or injury incurred while serving in active duty or inactive duty training or had a service-related disability for at least 10 years prior to death or for five years from the date of discharge until his death.

Other benefits for widows of veterans include educational assistance in the form of grants and low-interest loans, home loans, educational and vocational counseling, financial counseling and fiduciary services. In many cases, health care benefits are available for veterans’ widows as well as their children.