Texas VA Benefits Available for Dependents of Veterans

We told you last year about the benefits for veterans in Texas. But if you’re a veteran’s dependent, there are also available benefits available to you. Like veterans benefits, you may not realize that they are available, and how to qualify.

Texas VA Benefits Available for Dependents of Veterans

Benefits are available for dependents of veterans or surviving family members of deceased veterans. They are eligible through the veteran, not by themselves. Eligible family members are:

  • Spouse
  • Surviving Spouse
  • Child/children
  • Surviving child/children
  • Surviving parent(s)

A spouse must have a valid marriage with the veteran, including a “common law marriage,” which is a legal and valid marriage in Texas. The veteran may be required to provide a written statement attesting to the validity of the marriage. In some cases, a former spouse who has not remarried may also be eligible for benefits.

Children can be in or out of marriage, adopted, or a stepchild of the veteran, and under the age of 18. If they are over 18, they must be permanently disabled prior to 18. However, if a child under 18 joins the military or gets married, he or she will no longer be eligible for any benefits.

Property Exemptions

As we mentioned previously, veterans with a 100% rating can receive a waiver of all property taxes. Surviving spouses and children of veterans can receive a $5,000 property tax exemption, but you must apply for it.

There may be other tax breaks available, so it’s best to check with a qualified tax professional to find out what’s available in your area.


The Hazelwood Act provides educational benefits for Texas veterans and their dependents. The act provides up to 150 hours of tuition exemption but doesn’t cover books, supply fees or living expenses. Under the Legacy Act, veterans can assign any unused hours of exemption to a qualified dependent child.

Spouses and children of veterans who:

  • Died in the line of duty
  • Died as a result of injuries or illness sustained through military service
  • Are missing in action
  • Became 100% disabled (for the purposes of employment) as a result of injuries from military service

Are also eligible for credit exemptions of 150 hours for higher education. There are specific qualifications for the Hazelwood Act, including a residency in Texas.

Two other scholarships are available for Texas veteran dependents:

  • The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)
  • The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

Beneficiaries must choose between these two. Once selected, it can’t be changed.

“Death Pension”

Surviving spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime service may qualify for the VA’s death pension. This can help bring an eligible person or family’s income up to a level designated by law.

The spouse must not be remarried, and have children under 18, or under 23 if they are attending a VA approved school. The spouse may also qualify if the child became permanently unable to take care of themselves before the age of 18.

The veteran must have qualifying service as well as a discharge that’s other than dishonorable.

Should the surviving spouse be living in a nursing home, is permanently housebound, or need the assistance of another person, he or she may be entitled to a higher payment amount.

Burial Benefits

Veteran’s families may be eligible for burial benefits, including:

  • Burial expenses (reimbursement)
  • Military funeral honors
  • Headstones and markers from the VA
  • Burial flags
  • Internment in the VA’s national cemeteries or other cemeteries for veterans.

You can learn more about these available benefits by contacting the Texas Veteran Commission at: (877) 898-3833, or by email at education@tvc.texas.gov. TVC also publishes a guide to Texas veteran’s benefits that’s available online.

Additional information is available from TexVet.org.

Get Help From A Houston VA Disability Attorney

Whether you’re ready to start your application, need help with an appeal, or want to investigate a case review, don’t face the VA alone. You do have the right to legal representation whether it’s a new application, a hearing, or filing an appeal.

Call The Herren Law Firm in Houston at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation for VA disability benefits. Our contingency fee basis means you won’t owe a fee until we win your case, and there’s no obligation.

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