38 USC 1312 - Benefits in certain cases of in-service or service-connected deaths

(a) In the case of any veteran
(1) who dies after December 31, 1956, and is not a fully and currently insured individual (as defined in section 214 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 414)) at the time of such veterans death; and
(2) whose death occurs
(A) while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training; or

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(B) as the result of a service-connected disability incurred after September 15, 1940; and
(3) who leaves one or more survivors who are not entitled for any month to monthly benefits under section 202 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402) on the basis of such veterans wages and self-employment income but who would, upon application therefor, be entitled to such benefits if such veteran had been fully and currently insured at the time of such veterans death;

the Secretary shall pay for such month benefits under this section to each such survivor in an amount equal to the amount of the benefits which would have been paid for such month to such survivor under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.), if such veteran had been both fully and currently insured at the time of such veterans death and if such survivor had filed application therefor on the same date on which application for benefits under this section is filed with the Secretary.

(b) In any case where the amount of dependency and indemnity compensation payable under this chapter to a surviving spouse who has children is less than the amount of pension which would be payable to
(1)  such surviving spouse, or
(2)  such children if the surviving spouse were not entitled, under chapter 15 of this title had the death occurred under circumstances authorizing payment of death pension, the Secretary shall pay dependency and indemnity compensation to such surviving spouse in an amount equal to such amount of pension.