2023 Survivor's Pension Rates

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The VA Survivor's Pension (also known as the Death Pension) is a tax-free benefit paid to eligible dependents of deceased wartime veterans.

VA Survivor's Pension Eligibility

You may be eligible if:

  • the deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
  • they served 24 months or more of active duty with at least 1 day during wartime.  AND
  • you are the un-remarried surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND
  • you have a COMBINED net worth and income of $138,489 or less

Your net worth does not include your house or vehicle, it does include savings and investments plus things like furniture. Check with the VA for more information.

The Death Pension Payment Amount

VA pays you the difference between your countable income and the yearly income limit which describes your situation (see chart below). This difference is generally paid in 12 equal monthly payments rounded down to the nearest dollar. 

Current Income Limits
If you are a... Your yearly income must be less than...
Surviving spouse with no dependent children $10,757
Surviving spouse with one dependent child $14,078
(Add $2,743 to the limit for EACH additional child)  
Housebound surviving spouse with no dependents $13,147
Housebound surviving spouse with one dependent $16,462
Surviving spouse who needs aid and attendance with no dependents $17,192
Surviving spouse who needs aid and attendance with one dependent $20,509
Surviving child (no eligible parent) $2,743

Note: Some income is not counted toward the yearly limit (for example, medical costs, welfare benefits, or some wages earned by dependent children)  

The Death Pension Application Process

You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Or Death Pension by Surviving Spouse or Child. If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage & children's birth certificates).

Stay on Top of Your Veteran Benefits

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