Children whose parents died or were disabled in some capacity through American military service are eligible for certain benefits through Veteran Affairs. Benefits include, but are not limited to, financial support, educational assistance, medical care and burial services. Those who survive a parent who was eligible for VA services should look into the benefits provided by the branch and determine which, if any, they are eligible for.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a monthly payment awarded to those who survive the loss of a military professional who dies as a direct result of combat or training experience, or who was disabled as the direct result of military action. Surviving children are eligible for this benefit if their other parent is not receiving survivor benefits for their care, they are under the age of 23 and a full-time student, and they are unmarried. Adult children with certain disabilities, which render them "helpless," may be eligible for continuation benefits past the age of 23.
Death Pension is a benefit paid to unmarried children of deceased wartime veterans. To be eligible, the veteran parent must have served a term of active duty and have a record of wartime service. Also, the child must meet a minimum yearly income, be under the age of 23 and enrolled in school full-time, and be justifiably incapable of self-support.
The Dependents' Educational Assistance program provides 45 months of financial assistance to the children of veterans who are engaged in job training or degree programs. To be eligible, you must be the son or daughter of a veteran killed or disabled as the direct result of active service, or a veteran currently considered missing in action or detained by foreign power (POW). Eligible children must be between the ages of 18 and 26, and may receive services regardless of marital status.
The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs is a health care benefit for which surviving children may be eligible. To qualify, you cannot be eligible to receive medical coverage under the Department of Defense's TriCare health program, and must meet a list of other restrictions and qualifications.
Other Federal Benefits
The survivors of a veteran may also be eligible for certain federal benefits sponsored by the government or other authorities outside of Veterans Affairs. Benefits that children should look into include the TRICARE Dental Program, Social Security benefits, Commissary and Exchange privileges, and the Montgomery GI Bill Death Benefit.