Dependency Indemnity Compensation (also known as “DIC”) is a benefit that is available to surviving spouses and children of Veterans who pass away, and whose death is related to their military service.
In fact, Dependency Indemnity Compensation is often referred to as “service connection of the cause of death.”
In this post I’ll outline which Survivors might be eligible for Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
What follows is just a brief overview of Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
As with anything in the world of “VA Benefits”, there are always exceptions, so if you think you are entitled to DIC but keeping getting denied by your VA Regional Office, maybe you should start talking to VA Benefits lawyers.
I. Surviving Spouse Eligibility for DIC.
After a Veteran passes away, the first person in line for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is the Veteran’s eligible surviving spouse.
If the surviving spouse has minor children, there is an enhanced payment to the spouse for each minor child. Click here to see the current rates of payment by the VA for Veterans Survivor Dependency Indemnity Compensation.
For example, as of December 1, 2018 (use this link to check the CURRENT rates..they may be higher) the Veterans Surviving Spouse can add an additional $326.77 per minor child (under the age of 18) and a 2 year transitional benefit of $282.00 for each child under the age of 18.
So a surviving spouse with 1 minor child might be eligible for payments from the VA of about $1,346 per month.
Remarriage after the death of the veteran might affect your ability to collect DIC, however
II. Surviving Children may also receive Dependency Indemnity Compensation.
If the Veteran’s eligible surviving spouse has not filed any claim, or if there is no surviving spouse, then eligible surviving children of the Veteran are next in line to receive DIC.
Eligible surviving children are children that fit into one of three categories:
a) minors (i.e., under the age of 18);
b) between the ages of 18 and 23 and enrolled in a course of instruction at an approved educational institution,
c) what the VA calls a “helpless adult child”.
In the case of (a), the benefit is paid to a person called the “fiduciary-payee” – usually the parent or guardian.
In the case of (b) and (c), the Dependency Indemnity Compensation is paid to the child in his or her own right.
In the case of (b) the surviving child will have to elect between the Dependency Indemnity Compensation benefit and educational benefits available to the children of Veterans who die of service-connected conditions.
III. Dependent Parents are Sometimes Eligible for Dependency Indemnity Compensation.
Dependency Indemnity Compensation can occasionally be paid to the parents of the Veteran who were dependents of the Veteran.
The DIC payments for which dependent parents are eligible are unique – they are based on income qualifications, unlike DIC paid to surviving spouses and children of the Veteran.
The income qualifications are very strict, and will require reports of annual income expectations to be filed with the VA. Divorced and remarried dependent parents of a deceased Veteran are eligible for DIC so long as they meet the income qualifications.
Likewise, the Veteran’s surviving dependent parents need not be living together – in some situations, the DIC payment can be divided.
Want to Learn MORE about Veterans Survivors?
I’m writing a book to educate Veterans Survivors about the benefits available to them.
These folks are near and dear to my heart – my grandmother was the surviving spouse of a World War II Combat Veteran – the benefits that the VA denied her could have greatly helped her to raise 5 children on her own – and may well have changed the course of her life.
In the Veterans’ Survivors Handbook, I will discuss the full range of benefits available to surviving spouses of deceased Veterans: not just Veterans Survivor Dependency Indemnity Compensation, Accrued Benefits, Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA), and much, much more.
The book is not yet published, but you can learn more – including how to get a pre-release discount – by visiting this page.
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First published: January 8, 2016
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