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 Surviving Spouses

Alpha Advocacy for Those Left Behind

At Alpha, we honor the ultimate sacrifice made by our fellow disabled veterans. We also honor their families.

We are concerned for surviving spouses who may not be aware of benefits that could be available to them years after their veteran spouses were engaged in military service. Alpha Veterans Disability Advocates help surviving spouses obtain the benefits they are entitled to receive.

Qualifications for Survivor Benefits

The Veterans Administration provides Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits to a surviving spouse and/or dependent children if:

  • The surviving spouse does not remarry prior to age 57
  • The veteran was 100 percent disabled for 10 years prior to death, (for prisoners of war (POW), 100 percent disabled one year prior to death).
  • The cause of death is deemed service-connected:
    • The service-related disability was either the primary or contributory cause of death.
    • The service-related disability contributed to or aggravated the development of another disability which played a causative role in death.
    • The service-related disability assisted in the cause of death.
  • If there is no surviving spouse, DIC benefits are divided among a veteran’s minor children.
  • Older children found to be permanently incapable of self-support prior to turning 18 are eligible for DIC.

Was Your Veteran Spouse’s Death Service-Connected?

VA Casualty Assistance Officers are fully engaged in helping recently widowed survivors apply for DIC benefits.  However, there is another group of survivors that may have been missed.

Many older veterans may have died from service-connected causes but never filed a claim with the VA prior to their death.

For example, a veteran from the Vietnam War may have died many years after combat from a medical condition connected to Agent Orange exposure.  Or, if the Vietnam veteran died 10 years ago from a condition that now qualifies as service-connected, the surviving spouse very likely does not know that they have become entitled to DIC.

Alpha Helps Surviving Spouses Win Service-Connected Benefits

Your veteran spouse’s military service may have caused or contributed to your spouse’s death. Alpha can help you establish service connection and win you entitlement to DIC benefits.  Click the “Wartime Veterans” tab to review service-connected conditions for different war periods.

Our Alpha Advocates are skilled at assessing a veteran’s military history and health-related conditions to find possible relationships of service-connected entitlement to survivor benefits.

You could receive a basic tax-free monthly benefit of $1,154. You may also receive reimbursement of burial expenses up to $2,000.

Please contact Alpha to get started on your claim for DIC benefits.

Burial and Memorial Benefits

Burial in a VA national cemetery is available for eligible veterans, their spouses and dependents at no cost to the family. Benefits include headstones and grave markers, a burial flag, military funeral honors and perpetual care of the gravesite.

Other Benefits

  • Educational assistance for spouses and dependent children
  • Guaranteed home loans by a private lender
  • Secondary medical care (CHAMPVA) for individuals who have Medicare entitlement

Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.