Military Survivor Benefits
You were part of the military family when you supported your service member in his or her mission. And you're still part of the family now. That’s why the military has designed programs especially for survivors – tools and services to help you cope, make informed decisions, grieve in healthy ways and begin to envision a life with new opportunities.
Honoring Gold Star Families
Gold star families – spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved one died in service to our nation – are a vital part of the nation’s military community and history.
Overview of Casualty Assistance
The Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program makes sure that military families have support in their time of need, including understanding all benefits and other forms of assistance. Although the term "casualty" is usually associated with death, casualty support to eligible family members also means support after injury and illness, and when a service member is missing.
Finding Support After the Death of a Loved One
After the death of a loved one, you may experience a wide range of emotions. That is natural. Finding your new normal after the death of a loved one is not the same for everyone.
Scholarship Opportunities for Surviving Family Members
One way of taking the first step to your new normal is by following your own educational dreams. If you or your children are interested in pursuing higher education, there are several scholarship opportunities available from both private organizations and federal programs providing financial assistance.
Understanding the Role of the Casualty Assistance Officer
In its effort to ensure that military families have support in their time of need when a service member is declared deceased, whereabouts unknown or missing, the Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program assigns a dedicated casualty assistance officer to advise and assist the primary next of kin.
State Consultants Offer Local Support
Need to connect with financial, health, employment or other services in your local community? Military OneSource’s state consultants bring help directly to you, offering outreach services to support members of the military community when and where they need it most.
Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representatives
The National Defense Authorization Act 2014, Section 633, requires each secretary of a military department to designate a specific member to assist spouses and other dependents of service members, including Reserve Components, who die on active duty.
Employment Resources for Family Members of Deceased Service Members
Joining the workforce after the death or disability of a loved one can ease financial strain and provide a way to find your new normal. When seeking employment with the federal government, military family members may be eligible for special preference programs. While these programs don’t guarantee a job, they provide a qualified candidate entry into the applicant pool.
Making Funeral and Burial Arrangements
Your casualty assistance officer, or CAO, or mortuary officer is there to assist you with making funeral and burial arrangements in honor of your loved one's service and sacrifice.