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Dependents, Family and Survivors


It is not only veterans who serve their country. Your spouse, children and parents also sacrifice greatly to keep this nation safe and strong, and their service is recognized and appreciated.

Additional benefits may be available to you if you are the spouse, dependent or family member of a veteran who died or was seriously in the line of duty. These benefits may help you get an education or training for a new career, or they may provide supplementary income or necessary health care.

Health Care

Patient Advocates

​The Patient Advocacy Program is for all veterans and their families who receive care at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities and clinics. The federal VA wants to be sure that you have someone to go to with your concerns in a timely manner and to help you receive care.

If you need help getting care or getting your problems resolved, talk to the Patient Advocate at your nearest VA Medical Center.

For more information: Federal VA: Patient Advocacy Program

Presumptive Health Conditions

​For the purpose of disability compensation, there are specific health conditions, even if they were not incurred or aggravated during military service that the federal VA presumes to be service-connected because of the unique nature of certain veterans’ military service. These are called presumptive health conditions.

Note: The VA will also consider other conditions not listed, if supported by medical or scientific evidence. To be eligible for disability compensation, the VA must be able to establish that it is at least as likely as not that a veteran’s disease was caused by their military service. Working with a veteran service officer will help you determine if your health condition meets any of the qualifying presumptive health conditions.

For more information: Federal VA: Presumptive Health Conditions

Vet Center Call Center

​1-877-WAR VETS (1.877.927.8387) is an around the clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as family members of combat Veterans. The service is free for combat Veterans and their families so they may find resources they need at their nearest Vet Center.

For more information: visit the Federal VA: Vet Centers​ webpage or call 1-877-WAR VETS.

Vet Centers

​Services provided at Vet Centers include bereavement and readjustment counseling to individuals, groups, couples, and families.

If you served in a combat zone and received a campaign ribbon, you and your family are eligible for Vet Center services. In addition, parents, siblings, spouses and children of any active duty service member who dies while on active duty are eligible for bereavement counseling services.

For more information:  Federal VA: Vet Centers ​

Veterans Crisis Line

​The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

For more information: Federal VA: Veterans Crisis Line or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1