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Dying in Service: Benefits Entitled to Survivors

Death is unavoidable. No matter how much we take care of our life, time will come that people have to die. It is morbid and painful to the survivors to be left by their loved ones especially when the deceased left a considerable amount of debt. But the effect of losing a loved one can be reduced when the deceased and his or her family come prepared.

Social Security pays benefits to the surviving family members of a deceased member. Immediately after the death of the member the surviving family must notify the Social Security Administration. Basically, the amount of benefit the survivors will receive will depend on the earnings of the person who died. Hence, the more he has paid into Social Security, the higher the benefits will be.  

But death is more excruciating for survivors of military men who died in line of service. With the war in Iraq and terrorist attacks everywhere, the lives of these soldiers are always at risk. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers benefits to surviving family members. These benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Home Loan Guarantees, and Survivor’s and Dependants Education. Funeral services are also provided by VA. Generally, VA will arrange for embalming preparation and preservation, services of preparation at the place of death, casket and transportation to a common carrier.  

Surviving spouse of service members are also entitled to Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). This plan is similar to insurance that it enables retired military personnel to provide monthly income to beneficiaries after retiree’s death. Participation in SBP is optional; however, if you are on active duty and married, it may be in your best interest to have SBP coverage.  

With war and terrorists attacks more prevalent nowadays, increased death benefits should be payable to families of these soldiers. After all, they are all defending our country and when they die, they all leave behind grieving families and financial burdens. Truly, there is nothing that can replace a lost life but the government can at least help ease the burdens that grieving survivors meet.  

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