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Navigating your VA Dependency and Survivor Benefits

As a dependent of an active-duty military member or dependent of a veteran, things are not always easy.

From awaiting the return of your loved one from deployment to the health and mental health challenges upon their exit from the military, many things can create significant barriers to leading a healthy and happy life.

Additionally, when a former military member passes away, the loss can be overwhelming as you experience the emotional and financial burdens that come with the loss of your loved one.

Family and friends are paramount during that time of grief with the barrage of calls and appointments to funeral directors, hospitals, government agencies, and non-profits to accomplish the dozens of tasks that present themselves at the time of their passing.

Luckily, there are plenty of people in those agencies that are tasked with making the process a little less overwhelming. One of those agencies, the veterans affairs office, is tasked to assist not only veterans but also their eligible dependents with any potential benefits they may be eligible for, even after the veteran’s death and regardless of whether the veteran was involved with the Veterans Administration prior to their death. Those benefits, ranging from monetary compensation, health care, property tax exemption, burial benefits, education, and life insurance can make a tremendous difference in your own well-being and financial livelihood.

Alas, not every dependent may be eligible for VA benefits for a myriad of reasons per federal and state laws. So how does one navigate the government red tape as a dependent or survivor of our former soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen or Guardians? The first step should be contacting your local VA office.

While it may be difficult to prepare for everything that life has to throw at us, knowing what may be available can certainly alleviate many of the stressors that present themselves before the need arises. Regardless of your particular situation, your local Veteran Service Officer can assist you in navigating your dependent and survivor benefits whether now or into the future.

Laws continue to change regularly and even those veterans or dependents who may have been denied benefits in the past may now be eligible and learning about the new programs available may make all the difference.