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Financial Assistance for Survivors
Federal and state benefits for survivors include:
- Death Gratuity – each branch of the military provides a tax-free payment in the amount of $100,000 to the next of kin of service members who die while on active duty as a result of service-connected injury or illness. Families of service members who die within 120 days of separation are also eligible for the gratuity. The payment is made by the last military command of the deceased.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) - is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
- Survivors Pension – is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, unre-married surviving spouse and/or the unmarried child or children of a deceased veteran with wartime service.
- Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits – spouses who are eligible for DIC or Survivors Pension may also be eligible for Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits. Eligible survivors must be able to demonstrate that they require the assistance of another person to take care of everyday tasks, such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. They also must demonstrate whether they are confined to the home or the immediate premises.
- Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance – provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of Veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.
- Maine Veterans Dependents Educational Benefits (state program) – a 100% tuition and fee waiver for spouses and dependents of veterans who have a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability or who meet other eligibility requirements, such as being killed in action. This program applies to schools in the University of Maine System, Maine Community Colleges, and Maine Maritime Academy.
These are just a sample of the state and federal programs that exist to support survivors. Our Veteran Service Officers are available to help you navigate the full range of state and federal benefits for survivors, so please visit one of Field Offices to learn more.
Families of Maine's National Guard members may also receive assistance from the state's Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator:
Michelle L. Ouellette