Each person experiences grief differently when a loved one passes, but survivors should not feel confused about what to do next. The Survivors Quick Start Guide provides Veteran family members and caregivers a reference guide for what to do next.
Part of VA’s Welcome Kit, the Survivors quick start guide begins with a step by step checklist for preparing, applying for, and following up on the available benefits. Each step spells out in plain language what to do, what forms to fill out, and who to call if you need help.
The guide also helps families identify VA Survivor benefits and services they may be eligible for.
“We hope this consolidated information helps clarify the process, streamline final arrangements and helps survivors focus on what should be done to ensure continuation of the Veteran’s earned benefits.” – Ann Duff, Director of VA’s Survivor Assistance Office.
Next, the quick start guide lists each of VA’s Survivor benefits and services. Including burial and internment, compensation, education, home loan and insurance benefits. It also highlights several counseling services available in one’s time of need.
The Survivor Quick Start Guide and VA Welcome Kit illustrate VA’s goal to not only serve Veterans, but their families as well.
Non-profit organizations such as Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) also compliments the benefits. TAPS supports the VA by providing comfort and care to all who are grieving the death of their Veteran. Additional support available at no cost through TAPS includes access to a 24/7 emotional support Helpline at 800.959.TAPS, casework assistance for additional financial support and resources, peer based emotional support for your grief, and connections to grief and trauma counseling and support groups.
“Your loved one stepped forward to serve their country, and now we are there for you with resources and services. The VA Survivor Benefits Guide and the Survivor Quick Start Guide are a wonderful resource for navigating VA Survivor benefits and services” – Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder
The frequently asked questions in the guide include topics such as, “How would a spouse or dependent know what survivor benefits they may be eligible for?” and “As a surviving spouse am I eligible for healthcare?”
Please visit va.gov/welcome-kit/ to download and print the Survivors Quick Start Guide as well as the VA Welcome Kit. Information on burial and memorial benefits can be found at va.gov/burials-memorials.