Veterans Benefits for Children

Girl wrapped in American flag on farm
Young boy wrapped in an American flag. (Image: Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Children of veterans can receive various benefits as a result of a parent’s service in the armed forces. Most benefits are for the children of deceased veterans. In some cases, benefits are also paid to children of veterans who have suffered a permanent disability. The Social Security Administration explains that eligibility for most benefit programs for children of military veterans is based on a service member’s honorable discharge from active military service.

Death Gratuity

A death gratuity benefit is available for survivors of veterans who have been killed on active duty, while in training or who have died from service-related illnesses and injuries. This is a non-taxable payment which can be paid directly to a veteran’s children if there is no spouse or if the spouse is also deceased. A $100,000 benefit is paid if the service person dies during active or inactive duty, or while traveling to or from active duty.

Dependency And Indemnity Compensation

The Dependency and Indemnity Compensationbenefit provides a monthly benefit to the spouse and surviving children of veterans. A child must be younger than 18 years of age to receive compensation. If the veteran’s spouse is still alive, the benefit will be paid to her. The amount the surviving spouse receives depends on the number of minor children in the family. Children can receive the DIC if the veteran’s spouse is no longer living.

Survivor Benefit Plan

Veterans can purchase a Survivor Benefit Plan, which is similar to a life insurance policy. Veterans can opt to have benefits paid to their spouse or directly to their children. This is a monthly benefit plan intended to help families adjust to the loss of the veteran’s retirement fund when the veteran passes away. A child remains a beneficiary until age 18 or age 22 in cases where the child is a full-time, unmarried student.

CHAMPVA

Children of veterans are entitled to receive medical coverage. The coverage is known as CHAMPVA: The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This medical benefit offers a comprehensive health care plan, which covers medical services and related supplies. Health care benefits include doctor visits, hospitalization and prescription drug coverage. The child of a veteran who is permanently disabled because of a service-related incident, or the surviving child of a veteran who died in the line of duty or from a service-related disability is eligible for medical coverage.

Education Assistance Program

Dependents of veterans also qualify for the Education Assistance Program. This program provides funding to dependents to help cover the cost of degree programs and career training programs. The Education Assistance benefit provides financial assistance for up to 45 months of education. The benefit is for children of veterans who are between 18 and 26 years old. Qualified dependents may still receive the benefit after marriage. Dependents often receive enough assistance to cover the cost of their education.

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