Mesothelioma VA Survivors Pension

Quick Summary

VA Survivors Pensions provide tax-free monthly payments to the surviving spouses and children of veterans if they have low income. The base pension rate is $10,757 annually for surviving spouses without dependents. How much of this money is received depends on net worth. If your loved one died from mesothelioma, learn if you qualify for a VA Survivors Pension.

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What Is a VA Survivors Pension?

an older woman looking at her husbands medals as he stands wearing his full army uniformVA Survivors Pension, also known as the Death Pension, is a monthly benefit for low-income families that lost a veteran due to mesothelioma or another health issue. It is provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Similar to VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC), this pension allows qualified dependents to get monthly payments that vary based on income.

In cases where veterans died from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses, this pension can help their family members pay for anything — like lingering medical bills, funeral costs, and basic living expenses.

Our VA-accredited attorneys can help you file for a mesothelioma Survivors Pension and other benefits if you qualify. Get started right now.

Need help filing for VA benefits?

VA-Accredited Attorney Capt RIANG Eric Hall can help you file for free.

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Benefits of VA Survivors Pension for Mesothelioma

Following the death of a veteran with mesothelioma, benefits such as a VA Survivors Pension can greatly help families during a time of great financial and emotional stress.

The extra income from a VA Survivors Pension can offset some of the costs associated with both mesothelioma treatment and general expenses.

VA Survivors Pension can help eligible loved ones pay for:

  • Basic living expenses (rent or groceries)
  • Education expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Health care
  • Medical expenses

VA Survivors Pension Rates

The amount that recipients of the VA Survivors Pension receive each month depends on what category they fall under (spouse, dependent, etc.) and what their yearly countable income is.

gavel on top of moneyIf you qualify for a VA Survivors Pension, and your annual income falls under the limits set by Congress, your pension rate will be the difference between your countable income and the Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR). This difference will then be divided into monthly payments.

Your countable income is the sum of your yearly earnings as well as income from your dependents. It includes business income, investments, salaries, and disability or retirement payouts.

The MAPR amount is the highest possible amount you could receive from a pension. As of December 2022, the base MAPR for spouses is $10,757. If you are a spouse, your MAPR amount may be higher if you qualify for Aid and Attendance (A&A) or Housebound benefits and/or have at least one dependent.

For example, if you qualify for Housebound or A&A benefits and have a dependent, your MAPR would go up to $16,462 and $20,509 respectively.

As of December 2022, you must have a net worth (assets not including your primary residence or vehicle plus your annual income) of less than $150,538 to qualify for Survivors Pension benefits.

Call (877) 450-8973 to see if you qualify for VA Survivors Pension or other mesothelioma benefits. Our team is standing by to help you.

How to Calculate VA Survivors Pension

The amount you will receive in VA Survivors Pension is calculated as the difference between your MAPR and countable income.

For example, if you make $12,000 in yearly income and your MAPR is $20,509, your pension amount will be $8,509 a year. This will be paid out in monthly installments.

It is important to note that Social Security and other forms of uncountable income will not reduce your monthly payments.

Who Qualifies for VA Survivor Benefits?

Dependents of former service members that served during a wartime period can access VA Survivors Pensions if they meet the following eligibility requirements.

Spouse RequirementsDependent Children RequirementsDeceased Veteran Requirements
Meets income limits set by CongressMust not be marriedNot discharged under dishonorable conditions
Must not have remarried following the veteran’s deathUnder 18 OR under 23 and going to a VA-approved school OR cannot care for themselves due to a disability that developed before turning 18Served prior to 9/7/1980 for 90 days (with at least 1 day of wartime service) OR served after 9/7/1980 for 24 months or the full service period (with at least 1 day during war) OR served after 10/16/81 with no prior active duty service

File a Mesothelioma Pension Claim

A VA survivors pension can be a great relief if a veteran you love passed away from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

Remember: You'll get monthly, tax-free payouts that can be used to help cover medical bills, funeral costs, and any other expenses.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has proudly helped many veterans and their family members access VA benefits quickly.

Our team — including VA-accredited staff members and fellow veterans — can help see if you qualify for a VA Survivors Pension or other top benefits. Get help with your VA claim today.

FAQs About Mesothelioma VA Survivors Pensions

Is VA Survivors Pension taxable?

No, VA Survivors Pensions aren't taxed, meaning you'll always get the full amount of compensation you're entitled to.

What is the net worth limit for VA Survivors Pension?

The current net worth limit for VA Survivors Pension is $150,538.

Your net worth includes your annual income and assets like furniture, investments, and boats.

The VA does not count your home, your car, or basic home items and appliances towards your net worth.

Does Social Security count as income for VA Survivors Pension?

No, Social Security income is not counted as income. This means it may be possible to receive a VA Survivors Pension and Social Security payouts at the same time.

If you have further questions, speak with a VA-accredited representative (such as a claims agent or lawyer).

Veterans Support Team
Eric P.W. Hall (Capt RIANG) PhotoReviewed by:Eric P.W. Hall (Capt RIANG)

VA-Accredited Attorney

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Editor

Eric P.W. Hall (Capt RIANG) is an attorney, a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, and a legal advisor at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center. Today, Eric continues to serve as a Captain in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where he is Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, upholding his dedication to his country and fellow veterans. Eric considers it his duty to help his veteran family and strives to help them navigate the VA and receive the benefits they so bravely earned.

Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, November 30). 2023 VA Survivors Pension Benefit Rates. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2022, October 12). VA Survivors Pension. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from
  3. Social Security Administration (n.d.). You Can Get Both Military Retirement And Social Security Benefits. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from