Dependents' Educational Assistance
- The Dependents' Educational Assistance Program will provide education and training to dependents of certain veterans. The DEA will provide up to 45 months of education benefits for spouses and children of the veteran for a college degree, certificate program, apprenticeships and on-the-job-training. To be eligible, you must be the dependent child or spouse of a totally disabled veteran; a veteran that died from a service-connected disability; or a service member who is missing in action, captured or forcibly detained.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer
- Any military member that was on active duty or selected reserve on or after Aug. 1, 2009, and is eligible for the 9/11 GI Bill can transfer educational benefits to their spouse or children. The family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System to qualify for the benefit.
Health Care Benefits
- The VA can provide medical care for family members of a veteran that has a permanent and total service-connected disability rating through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs. This benefit is also available to the spouse and children of a veteran who died as a result of a service-connected disability or while on active duty.
- Veteran Centers provide counseling and outreach programs to veterans who served in combat zones, and their families, at no cost. The Vet Center programs include marital counseling, bereavement counseling, assistance in applying for VA benefits, employment counseling, trauma counseling and referrals. The program's intention is to provide services to make the transition from military life to civilian life successful. These services are available at community-level Vet Centers located near the veteran or his family.
Base and Commissary Privileges
- Using the base exchanges and commissaries can reduce grocery and other shopping expenses. Disabled veterans with a disability rating of 100 percent are eligible to shop at commissaries and base exchanges located on military installations. The Department of Defense extends this benefit to the surviving spouse of veterans that die of a service-connected disability that was rated 100 percent.
Dependents Indemnity Compensation
- The Dependents Indemnity Compensation is a benefit paid to the surviving spouse or children of a veteran who died from a service-connected disability or from a non-service-connected disability while he was receiving VA compensation for a disability that was rated totally disabling. This benefit is calculated at a different rate than disability compensation (often significantly less) and can be awarded to the spouse or children.
Survivor Benefit Plan
- Disabled veterans that are also earning retirement pay are eligible for the Survivor Benefit Plan, a form of life insurance that protects a portion of that pay. The service member must apply for this insurance upon separation from the military or during open-season periods and pay a low-cost annual premium. The SBP will pay surviving dependents 55 percent of the veteran's retirement pay upon his death for the life of the beneficiary. The SBP benefits are adjusted annually for cost-of-living, so the benefit grows over time.