Are Adult Children of Deceased Veterans Eligible for VA Benefits?

Are Adult Children of Deceased Veterans Eligible for VA Benefits?

One of the most common questions we receive is whether adult children of deceased Veterans are eligible for benefits from the VA.  

VA defines a “child” of a Veteran as one of the following:

  1. An unmarried person under the age of 18 years old; or
  2. An unmarried person who before reaching the age of 18 was deemed permanently incapable of self-support by the Social Security Administration; or
  3. An unmarried person between 18 and 23 years old who is pursuing schooling at an educational institution approved by VA. 

VA Disability Benefits:

VA will only provide disability compensation benefits (monthly monetary payments) to adult children of deceased Veterans in extremely specific situations.

For children of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange, the only medical condition currently recognized by VA for the payment of disability benefits is spina bifida (other than spina bifida occulta).  (For children who qualify, VA also provides healthcare and job training.)

VA does not pay disability compensation to adult children of deceased male Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and have a medical condition other than spina bifida.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation:

Once a child of a deceased Veteran is over 23 years old, they are only eligible to be considered a surviving dependent for dependency and indemnity compensation from VA if they have been deemed permanently incapable of self-support by the Social Security Administration prior to their 18th birthday. 

There are no exceptions to this regulation.  If you are the adult child of a deceased Veteran and you were determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration after your 18th birthday, you do not qualify to receive this benefit. 

Additional VA Benefits:

There are VA benefits that surviving dependents (including adult children) may be eligible for, such as:

Burial Reimbursement:

VA provides reimbursement for costs associated with the burial of a Veteran up to a certain amount. 

Camp Lejeune Family Member Program:

Family members of Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may be eligible for reimbursement for health care costs related to 15 specific medical conditions under VA’s Camp Lejeune Family Member Program.

These medical conditions are bladder cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, female infertility, hepatic steatosis, kidney cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, miscarriage, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, neurobehavioral effects including Parkinson’s disease, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, renal toxicity, and scleroderma. 

(Please note this program is only for the reimbursement of healthcare costs and does not apply to VA disability benefits.) 

**The information contained in this post is not updated after the date initially posted.  For the most up-to-date information, please check VA’s website.**

**The information contained in this post is not updated after the date initially posted.  For the most up-to-date information, please check VA’s website.**

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Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not legal advice. Using the information provided on this website or contacting Bergmann & Moore, LLC does not establish an attorney-client relationship.