Family members of deceased veterans are eligible to receive some benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Eligible family members include spouses, children and any dependents the veteran had while he was alive. Children are generally eligible to receive veteran benefits based on their age and also based on the deceased veteran's years of service.
Dependents Education Program
As the surviving child of a deceased veteran, you are eligible to receive education benefits. You have up to 45 months of benefits that you can use to pay for a college degree, job training or certificate programs that improve your working skills. To be eligible to receive these benefits, you can be married or unmarried, and you must be older than age 18 and younger than age 26. You must also be the surviving child of a veteran who died of a service-related disability or a veteran who died from any cause who had a service-connected disability.
VA Death Pension
As the child of a deceased veteran, you may also be eligible to receive VA death pension benefits. These are monthly payments the Department of Veterans Affairs makes to you based on your father's service record. To be eligible to receive these benefits, your father must have received honorable discharge from his service. If your deceased parent served before 1980, he must have served for at least 90 days and one day during war for you to be able to receive these benefits. If he served after 1980, he must have served for at least two years or the entire period for which he was required to serve. You must also meet eligibility requirements, such as having low income and being younger than age 18 -- or age 23 if you are in college (see Resources).
CHAMPVA is a military health insurance program for veterans' family members. As a surviving child of a deceased veteran, you are eligible to receive these benefits if your deceased parent died of a service-related disability or if he died from some other cause after having become totally and permanently disabled. CHAMPVA pays for most necessary medical and psychological treatments.
TRICARE is another military health insurance program. However, TRICARE is for military service members who are still alive and on active duty, retirees and their family members. To be eligible to receive TRICARE benefits as a surviving child of a deceased veteran, your parent must have died while serving. You can keep receiving these benefits up to age 21 or up to age 23 if you are in college. You are eligible to receive benefits for longer if you are disabled and you developed your disability before age 21 or between ages 21 and 23 if you were in college.