Survivor Benefits


The following programs are available for qualifying survivors of deceased veterans. Make sure you have a copy of the veterans separation/discharge documents, a copy of your marriage license, the death certificate and copies of birth certificates for dependent children available to expedite your claims.

See valuable information for veteran's survivors. When you open it, click on the button that applies to your status, whether your spouse's death was in service or after service as the programs are different. These links will refer you to resources you will need as a surviving spouse. Please call the County Veterans Service Office for additional questions or guidance.

Death Pension

The death pension is similar to the Non Service Connected pension in that is a "needs based" program. It is designed to provide assistance to the survivors of wartime veterans. However, the survivor need not be totally disabled. The survivor must have income from all sources below the Maximum Allowable Pension Rate (MAPR) and have a "limited" estate. The veteran must have a Characterization of Service "other than dishonorable" when discharged from the service and at least 90 days active military service, at least one day during wartime.

Application for this benefit is made using VA form 21-534. Supporting documents includes a copy of the veterans discharge, marriage license to the widow, and divorce decrees from all marriages. Also, a copy of the divorce decree or death certificates from the widow’s prior marriages. If the widow is in a nursing home or is totally disabled, medical statements from the attending physician and copies of the appropriate medical records should be provided. Information will be needed concerning income from all sources and for worth of assets (earnings statement from Social Security, pension plans, annuities, bank accounts and property values). Please call the County Veterans Service Office and we will assist you with the application and provide a checklist of specific documents required to expedite your claim.

Aid and Attendance

Aid and Attendance is a benefit in addition to Death Pension for surviving spouses who are housebound and need the aid of another or living in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Depending on income and the cost of out of pocket medical expenses (not covered by insurance) which would include the cost of home health care, assisted living facility or nursing home, the surviving spouse could qualify for additional benefits to offset the costs.

Information concerning this benefit and the necessary forms needed to apply may be requested from the County Veterans Service Office at (817) 579-3292.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

The DIC Compensation program is provided to the surviving spouse, dependent children, and certain dependent parents of veterans who died on active duty, as the result of a service connected disability or had been permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service connected disability for at least ten years at the time of death due to an unrelated cause.

For active duty service members, a Casualty Assistance Officer is assigned to the family to assist with filing DIC Compensation and other claims.

Surviving spouses of veterans however, will complete a VA FORM 21-534 and include a copy of your marriage license, the death certificate, copies of divorce decree’s for both veteran and surviving spouses previous marriages and any medical documentation to support the claim. We strongly encourage surviving spouses to contact the County Veteran Service Office for assistance with these claims to avoid delays in processing.

Annuity under the Survivor Benefits Programs

To verify eligibility for an annuity under the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan, Survivor Benefit Plan and /or Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan, surviving spouses, former spouses, and dependent children of Military retiree's and or natural persons with an insurable interest should submit a DD FORM 2656-7 "VERIFICATION FOR SURVIVOR ANNUITY" and mail to

Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)
U.S. Military Annuitant Pay
8899 E 56th ST
Indianapolis IN 46249 1300

or fax to DFAS toll free at 1-800-982-8459. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact DFAS toll free at 1-800-321-1080. If you need help completing this form, please call our office and we will be glad to assist you and fax the form for you.

For Reserve Component Retiree's click on this link for information and application.

For Active Duty Retirees, click on this link.

To report the death of a military retiree