On Memorial Day, VA Honors the Men and Women Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice Defending Our Country and Our Way of Life

“To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors."

On Memorial Day Americans across the Nation come together to honor the sacrifices of those who were willing to stand up for our country's ideals and risk their lives to secure freedoms that we all enjoy. While we can never repay the families who lost their loved ones to the horrors of war, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stands by Lincoln’s words by offering a variety of benefits and services for those who have lost loved ones in defense of our Nation.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

The surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, may be able to get a tax-free monetary benefit called VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC).   Ninety-six percent of DIC recipients in fiscal year 2022 are surviving spouses.  About 69 percent of survivors receiving DIC are related to Vietnam Era Veterans.  For additional information see About VA DIC For Spouses, Dependents, And Parents | Veterans Affairs

Survivor's Pension

Pension is a needs-based benefit designed to provide certain wartime Veterans and their survivors with a minimum level of income that raises their standard of living.  Surviving spouses and dependent children of deceased wartime Veterans are eligible for monthly pension benefits if they meet the net worth and income requirements.  About 74 percent of all survivors' pension recipients are aged 75 and older. Just under half (45%) are survivors of World War II (WWII) Veterans.  For more information see VA Survivors Pension | Veterans Affairs.


Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
183,944 beneficiaries received DEA education benefits during fiscal year 2022.  DEA is a VA educational assistance program designed for spouses and children of certain Veterans or Servicemembers. For additional information visit the following link: Survivors’ And Dependents’ Educational Assistance | Veterans Affairs (va.gov).
The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)
The Fry Scholarship, which was established under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, provides eligible spouses and children with financial support for tuition and fees, books and supplies, and housing. Spouses and children of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who dies in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, may qualify for this benefit. During fiscal year 2022, 794 spouses and 3,304 children received Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits under the Fry Scholarship. For more information on the Fry Scholarship, please visit Fry Scholarships | Veterans Affairs (va.gov)

Home Loan Guaranty 

The VA Home Loan Guaranty program helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses purchase, build, retain, and adapt homes. An unmarried surviving spouse of a Veteran who died of a service-connected disability or a spouse of a Servicemember who is missing in action (MIA) or a prisoner of war (POW) may be eligible for a VA home loan. During fiscal year 2022, 5,313 un-remarried survivors had home loans guaranteed by VA. For additional information on VA Home Loans, see VA Home Loans Home.

Invitation to Apply for Benefits

VA encourages all Veterans to learn about VA programs and to apply for the benefits and services they have earned. Programs are administered through three VA administrations. Follow these links for detailed information, eligibility criteria and application instructions.
·       Veterans Benefits Administration -  https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/
·       Veterans Health Administration -  https://www.va.gov/health-care/
·       National Cemetery Administration -  https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/ 
.       The PACT ACT and your VA benefits -  The PACT Act And Your VA Benefits | Veterans Affairs
.       Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) is VA’s newest whole life insurance program that offers cash value and very competitive premium rates. Enrollment opened on Jan. 1, 2023,  for all service-connected Veterans age 80 and under. 

Contact Information

Prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Enterprise IntegrationOffice of Data Governance and AnalyticsNational Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics. For questions, please email us at VANCVAS@va.gov.
Source: Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration, Annual Benefits Report - Veterans Benefits Administration Reports (va.gov) Fiscal Year 2022, February 2023.