The Department of Defense and other agencies support families of fallen servicemembers and veterans by providing compassionate services to help cope with their loss and address all questions related to the casualty. Listed below are some of the valuable resources available to survivors.
- TAPS Quick Series Guide to Benefits and Finance is meant to help military survivors take a deep breath and think through their financial options amidst the chaos and confusion following their loved one's death. This guide includes the following topics: emotions and money, benefits, budgeting and money terms.
- Department of Defense - A Survivor’s Guide to Benefits is intended to aid military survivors with a clear idea of how the Department of Defense will assist them from the first meeting with a casualty assistance office. It covers the planning and details of the funeral or memorial service, and continues through the application and processing of all benefits and entitlements.
- The Days Ahead helps surviving family members by providing resources including listings of support organizations and programs, books and websites on grief and loss, and advice for coping with the loss of their loved one.
- Marine Corps Long Term Assistance Program is a permanent resource for the next of kin, ensuring they receive sustained, quality assistance from the Marine Corps. It was established to provide outreach and assistance to Marine families in need of support with any residual issues generally associated with the receipt of death benefits and entitlements. For more information, you may also call 866-210-3421 ext 2.
- Navy Long Term Assistance Program has a goal to provide extended assistance to survivors of our Sailors who die while on active duty to include the reserve component. They provide casualty benefits support and address any survivor issues regarding the entire spectrum of the Navy’s casualty care, from notifications and Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO) feedback to specific benefits and follow-on care. For more information, you may also cal 877-270-2162.
- Air Force Casualty Operations provides guidance to commanders, casualty assistance representatives, family assistance representatives, and other support agencies to ensure members and their families are taken care of as expeditiously as possible. For more information, you may also call 877-353-6807.
- Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Division (CMAOC) is dedicated to the mission of providing assistance to the families of our fallen Soldiers - in the days, months, and years ahead. For more information, you may also call 888-276-9472.
- Coast Guard Gold Star Program provides long-term support to surviving families of Coast Guard members who die while on Active Duty. For more information, you may also call 202-795-6637.
- Online Survivor Benefits Reports allows surviving dependents to plan for the future by viewing Survivor Benefits Reports by branch, performing what-if exercises to see how survivor benefits might change, and review related fact sheets. For more information, you may also contact the Family Assistance Support Team at 877-827-2471.
- Defense Finance and Accounting Service Retirement and Annuitant Pay section establishes, maintains and pays eligible military surviving family members. For more information, you may also call 800-321-1080.
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a variety of benefits and services to eligible spouses, children, and parents of servicemembers and veterans who have passed away. For more information, you may also call 800-827-1000.
- Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is a way of verifying who is eligible to receive military benefits, as well as verify who qualifies for TRICARE medical benefits and TRICARE Dental Program. For more information, you may also call 800-538-9552.
- Military ID Card Office Locator will identify nearby Military ID Card Offices that can issue and/or renew dependent ID cards.
- TRICARE continues to provide healthcare coverage for eligible surviving family members when a sponsor dies.
- TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) provides dental coverage for eligible surviving family members when a sponsor dies.
- Social Security Administration provides survivor benefits to eligible spouses and children. For more information, you may also call 800-772-1213.
- Burial Benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to include burial in any of the 131 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances.
- Military Funeral Honors are rendered as a way to show the nation’s deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to the surviving family.
Grief Support Resources
- Center for Loss & Life Transition is an organization dedicated to helping people who are grieving and those who care for them by offering resources and understand. For more information, you may also call 970-226-6050.
- Give An Hour is a national network of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society by harnessing the skill and expertise of volunteer professionals to increase the likelihood that those in need receive the support and care they deserve.
- Department of Veterans Affairs Bereavement Counseling offers bereavement support to parents, spouses, and children of active duty, National Guard, or reserve members who die while on military duty. For more information, you may also call 202-461-6530.
- The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. For more information, you may also call 877-969-0010.
- Vets4Warriors is a 24/7 peer support network committed to ensuring that all veterans, servicemembers, their families, and caregivers always have direct and immediate access to a peer who understands their life experiences and the challenges they face, and can provide support whenever they confront an issue, wherever they are in the world. For more information, you may also call 855-838-8255.
- AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services (ACCESS) is an air disaster bereavement support network dedicated to connecting those who have survived or lost loved ones in private, military and commercial airplane crashes, as well as other aviation tragedies with individuals who have lived through similar losses.
- Hospice Foundation of America educates the public and health care professionals about death, dying and grief by bringing together the nation’s leading experts to contribute to books, web-based tutorials and programs, and videos. For more information, you may also contact 800-854-3402.
- Open to Hope helps people find hope after loss though articles, books, television and podcast broadcastings, as well as allow you to share your stories of hope and compassion.
- eCondolence.com provides guidance about expressing condolences, grief and coping, and bereavement, as well as tools and resources to plan and coordinate following the loss of a loved one.
- What's Your Grief promotes grief education, exploration and expression in both practical and creative ways by providing resources related to understanding and coping with grief and loss, guidance on how to help a grieving friend or family member, online courses about grief and supporting someone who's grieving, resources, education and training for grief counselors, volunteers and other professions in related fields, a podcast about grief, and a support community.
- Domani for Grief provides grief support, honest conversation and a heartfelt community through resources and information available to begin the healing process. You can explore courses, read blogs, join live events and sign-up for their monthly newsletter.
- Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) is an international, professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence and recognizing diversity in death education, care of the dying, grief counseling and research in thanatology. For more information, you may also call 612-337-1808.
- Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists is a professional membership organization of individuals engaged in and committed to excellence in trauma services, response, and treatment. For more information, you may also call 864-294-4337.
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) is an international interdisciplinary professional organization that promotes advancement and exchange of knowledge about traumatic stress. For more information, you may also call 847-686-2234.
- National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) is a professional member organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them. For more information, you may also call 866-432-1542.
- National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) aims to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America’s veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD, through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress related disorders.
Military-Related Organizations and Resources
- The American Legion
- American Widow Project provides military widows with support through peer-based support programs designed to educate, empower, inspire and assist them in taking steps forward to their new normal.
- American Gold Star Mothers Inc. is an organization of mothers whose sons or daughters died in the line of duty or died as a result of injuries while on active duty. For more information, you may also call 202-265-0991.
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Army Times
- Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association
- Gold Star Pins
- Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a congressionally chartered organization that provides information to active-duty and service-connected widows and widowers on pertinent matters such as benefits and legislative and support services.
- Got Your Back Network
- Military Connection
- Presidential Memorial Certificate
- National Guard Association of the United States
- National Resource Directory is an online partnership for wounded, ill and injured servicemembers, veterans, their families, as well as families of the fallen and those who support them.
- Navy Gold Star Program
- Navy Mutual Aid Association
- Society of Military Widows