We recognize the dedication and the devotion of the families and survivors of our Veterans. We serve them as we would our own families and survivors, because we value their loyalty and understand what they sacrificed to support us and our fellow Veterans. In many ways, you gave our Veterans the strength to face each day just knowing you were there, despite the circumstances, the distance, and not knowing what the next day would bring. Let us be there for you.
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Aid & Attendance / Housebound
What is Aid & Attendance and Housebound?
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.
Since Aid and Attendance and Housebound allowances increase the pension amount, people who are not eligible for a basic pension due to excessive income may be eligible for pension at these increased rates. A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.
Who’s Eligible for Aid & Attendance (A&A)?
The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:
- You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
- You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
- You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
- Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less
Who’s Eligible for Housebound?
This increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount when you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability and if you:
- Have single permanent disability evaluation as 100% disabling & due to this, you are permanently confined to home or
- Single permanent disability evaluation as 100% disabling & another disability/disabilities, evaluated as 60 % or more disabling.
How do I Apply?
You may apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits by writing to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state, visiting your local regional benefit office to file your request, or contacting your nearest Texas Veterans Commission representative, or Veterans County Service Officer, who will guide you through the process and identify any paperwork required.
You should include copies of any evidence, preferably a report from an attending physician validating the need for Aid and Attendance or Housebound type care.
- The report should be in sufficient detail to determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.
- Whether the claim is for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, the report should indicate how well the applicant gets around, where the applicant goes, and what he or she is able to do during a typical day. In addition, it is necessary to determine whether the claimant is confined to the home or immediate premises.
Family Care Giver Stipend
What is Family Care Giver Support?
The VA values your commitment to care for the Veteran in your family. They have provided additional support and services to help you care for the Veteran you love and for yourself.
Under the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010,” additional VA services are now available to seriously injured post-9/11 Veterans and their Family Caregivers through a new program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. VA is now accepting applications for these services. For more information click here.
The law will provide additional assistance to primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Service members. Services for this group include:
- Monthly stipend
- Travel expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying Veterans undergoing care)
- Access to health care insurance (if the Caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan)
- Mental health services and counseling
- Comprehensive VA Caregiver training provided by Easter Seals
- Respite care (not less than 30 days per year)
If the Veteran is enrolled in VA health care benefits and requires at least six months of continuous supervision or assistance with performing basic functions of everyday life due to a serious injury or mental disorder (including psychological trauma or other mental disorder) incurred or aggravated in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, then they are entitled to Family Care Giver Support.
- Veterans eligible for this program are those who sustained a serious injury – including traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder – incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, on or after September 11, 2001.
- Veterans eligible for this program must also be in need of personal care services because of an inability to perform one or more activities of daily living and/or need supervision or protection based on symptoms or residuals of neurological impairment or injury.
- To be eligible for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, Veterans must first be enrolled for VA health services, if not enrolled previously.
How do I Apply?
If you think you or your Veteran meets the above criteria, contact your nearest Texas Veterans Commission representative, or Veterans County Service Officer, who will guide you through the process and identify any paperwork required. It never hurts to ask. If you would like to apply through the VA, you can fill out your application you can contact one of the Caregiver Support Coordinators at any VA Medical Center to assist Veterans you with the application process. To find your Caregiver Support Coordinator, visit the Help Near Home page. Additional application assistance is available at 1-877-222 VETS (8387).
Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
What is Dependency & Indemnity Compensation?
DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of Veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. Parents DIC is an income-based benefit for parents who were financially dependent on of a Service member or Veteran who died from a service-related cause.
Eligibility (Surviving Spouse)
To qualify for DIC, a surviving spouse must meet the requirements below.
The surviving spouse was:
- Married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
- Validly married the Veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
- Married the Veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the Veteran’s death began or was aggravated, OR
- Was married to the Veteran for at least one year, OR
- Had a child with the Veteran, AND
- Cohabited with the Veteran continuously until the Veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
- Is not currently remarried
Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.
Eligibility (Surviving Child)
- Not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC, AND
- Unmarried, AND
- Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.
Note: A child adopted out of the Veteran’s family may be eligible for DIC if all other eligibility criteria are met.
Listed below are the evidence requirements for this benefit:
- The service member died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
- The Veteran died from an injury or disease deemed to be related to military service, OR
- The Veteran died from a non-service-related injury or disease, but was receiving, OR was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling
- For at least 10 years immediately before death, OR
- Since the Veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR
- For at least one year before death if the Veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999
How do I Apply?
If you think you meet the above criteria, contact your nearest Texas Veterans Commission representative, or Veterans County Service Officer, who will guide you through the process and identify any paperwork required. It never hurts to ask. If you would like to apply through the VA, you can fill out your application you can contact a VA regional office and have VA employee assist you with the application process. For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by the VA, click HERE.
What is Widows Pension?
Widows Pension, or the Survivors Pension benefit, which may also be referred to as Death Pension, is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried child(ren) of a deceased Veteran with wartime service.
The deceased Veteran must have met the following service requirements:
- For service on or before September 7, 1980, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, with at least one day during a war time period.
- If he or she entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty with at least one day during a war time period.
- Was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.
Survivors Pension is also based on your yearly family income, which must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify. See you representative for calculating income if you need assistance.
While an un-remarried spouse is eligible at any age, a child of a deceased wartime Veteran must be:
- Under 18, OR
- Under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school, OR
- Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18.
Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Survivors Pension benefit.
How do I Apply?
If you think you meet the above criteria, contact your nearest Texas Veterans Commission representative, or Veterans County Service Officer, who will guide you through the process and identify any paperwork required. It never hurts to ask. If you would like to apply through the VA, you can fill out your application you can contact a VA regional office and have VA employee assist you with the application process. For more information on how to apply, click HERE.
Burial Services & Cemeteries
What are Burial Benefits?
Effective July 7, 2014: VA is changing its monetary burial benefits regulations to simplify the program and pay eligible survivors more quickly and efficiently. These regulations will authorize VA to pay, without a written application, most eligible surviving spouses basic monetary burial benefits at the maximum amount authorized in law through automated systems rather than reimbursing them for actual costs incurred.
- Under the current regulations, VA pays for burial and funeral expenses on a reimbursement basis, which requires survivors to submit receipts for relatively small one-time payments that VA generally pays at the maximum amount permitted by law.
- The new burial regulations will permit VA to pay, at a flat rate, burial and plot or interment allowances thereby enabling VA to automate payment of burial benefits to most eligible surviving spouses and more efficiently process other burial benefit claims.
- The burial allowance for a non-service-connected death is $300, and $2,000 for a death connected to military service.
- VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001, or up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 11, 2001, if death is service related. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed. Note: There is no “time” limit for filing reimbursement claims for service connected death cases.
- VA will pay up to $747 toward burial, plot allowance, and funeral expenses for deaths on or after October 1, 2015 (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial, plot allowance, and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $747 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery). Note: Non-service connected deaths must file claim within 2 years of burial)
- You paid for a Veteran’s burial or funeral, AND
- You have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased Veteran’s employer, AND
- The Veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, AND
- The Veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
- The Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
- The Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
- The Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
- The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR
- The Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR
- The Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.
NOTE: VA does not pay burial benefits if the deceased:
- Died during active military service, OR
- Was a member of Congress who died while holding office, OR
- Was a Federal prisoner.
- Acceptable proof of death, AND
- Receipted bills that show that you made payment in whole or part, OR
- A statement of account, preferably on the printed billhead of the funeral director or cemetery owner. The statement of account must show:
- The name of the deceased Veteran for whom the services and merchandise were furnished, AND
- The nature and cost of the services and merchandise, AND
- All credits, AND
- The amount of the unpaid balance, if any.
How do I Apply?
If you think you meet the above criteria, contact your nearest Texas Veterans Commission representative, or Veterans County Service Officer, who will guide you through the process and identify any paperwork required. If you would like to apply through the VA, you can fill out your application you can contact a VA regional office and have VA employee assist you with the application process. For more information on how to apply, click HERE.
- Headstone Limit – one to eligible Veteran (only one per family).
- One gravesite for all eligible family members with one headstone listing all names.
- One headstone per Veteran and one gravesite per Veteran.
Order a headstone
- Application generally takes 30 to 60 days.
- Toll-Free number is 1– 800-697-6947, to check order status.
- Shipping is free of charge to cemetery or nearest local monument business.
Military Funeral Honors
Upon request DOD will provide military funeral honors consisting of:
- Folding and presentation of U.S. flag.
- Sounding of “Taps.”
- Funeral honor detail consists of 2 or more uniformed members of armed forces, at least 1 from deceased branch of service.
Military Funeral Honors Eligibility
- Veterans was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, died on active duty, spouse and dependent will be eligible
- Surviving spouse
- Children under 21 or age 23 if in school
- Children, of any age, if categorized disabled at age 18 ($745 for burial of each person)
- Active duty, enlisted, after September 7, 1980 and
- Officers status as of October 16, 1981, must have served 24 consecutive months
- National Guard or Reserves with 24 months of service
Texas National Cemeteries
- Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery
- Fort Bliss National Cemetery
- Houston National Cemetery
- Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery ( San Antonio )
- Kerrville National Cemetery
- San Antonio National Cemetery
For more information on burial benefits and arrangements, click HERE.