VA Dependent Benefits provide income, education, and medical support for the spouse and dependent children of some service-connected disabled veterans. Additionally, the parents of a veteran may be eligible for income support.
Monthly VA Dependent Benefits
While the disabled veteran is still living, the VA increases the compensation available to veterans with more than a disability rating of at least 30% if they have a spouse and/or dependents (click here for the rate tables).
Upon the veteran’s death, the parents, spouse and children may become eligible in their own right for Dependency Indemnity Compensation. Detailed information for Spouse and Child Dependency Indemnity Compensation can be found here, and Parents Dependency Indemnity Compensation here.
Education for Spouse and Children
Survivors’ & Dependent’s Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) is an education benefit that can provide up to 36 months of full-time or equivalent benefits to the spouse and children of most 100% service connected disabled veterans for:
- College, Business, Technical or Vocational Courses
- High School Diploma or GED
- Independent Study or Distance Learning courses
- Correspondence Courses (Spouses Only)
- Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training
- Remedial, Deficiency, and Refresher Training (in some cases)
- The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance in a job
Spouses have up to 10 years from the date the VA determines that the spouse is eligible for VA Dependent Benefits. Children may use the benefit between the ages of 18 and 26.
Detailed information about DEA can be found here.
Medical Care (CHAMPVA)
CHAMPVA provides medical care for the spouse and dependent children of most 100% service-connected disabled veterans. In general, the CHAMPVA program covers most health care services and supplies that are medically and psychologically necessary.
A child’s eligibility ends at the age of 18, unless he or she is still a student at an accredited institution, where eligibility ends at age 23. Spouse eligibility ends with divorce or remarriage after the death of the veteran and before the age of 55. However, eligibility can be reinstated upon termination of remarriage.
Detailed information about CHAMPVA can be found here.
Additional VA Dependent Benefits
There are some additional benefits available to some survivors of disabled veterans. See our Survivor and Dependents page for an overview.
We strongly recommend that you enlist the services of a Veteran Service Officer before you submit your application for any of the above benefits. They will review your application, helping ensure it has all the information the VA requires. If you do not have a VSO yet, the NVF will help you find one. Simply call us at 888-777-4443 for information or to ask us more about VA Dependent Benefits.