Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a benefit available to eligible survivors of military service members who either died in the line of duty or died as a result of a service-connected disability.  DIC may also be available where the veteran died of a non service connected condition in certain situations.

DIC is available were a service connected disability either caused death or contributed to the death.  The veteran need not have been service connected for the cause of death in order for DIC to be available.  The qualified survivor can raise the issue of service connection for the first time in connection with a DIC claim.

DIC will also be awarded if either of these criteria apply:

  • The veteran was receiving or entitled to receive compensation for a disability at the 100% level for at least ten years prior to death.  This also includes a 100% rating under TDIU.
  • Also, DIC will be awarded if the veteran was receiving or entitled to receive compensation for a disability at the 100% level for five continuous years since discharge from active duty.
  • Finally, DIC will be awarded if the veteran was receiving or entitled to receive compensation for a disability at the 100% level for one year and the veteran was a POW.

Surviving spouses, child(ren), and dependent parent(s) of veterans may be eligible for DIC as well.

Spouse

In order to qualify for DIC, a surviving spouse must meet the following requirements:

Married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR

Validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957, OR

Married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran’s death began or was aggravated, OR

Was married to the veteran for at least one year

Additionally, you must show you:

Cohabitated with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for separation, AND

are not currently remarried.

For surviving spouses that remarried, there are special rules for whether or not DIC is available, and whether or not DIC can be reinstated if the marriage ended.

Child

In order to qualify for DIC, a surviving child must meet the following requirements:

Not included in surviving spouse’s DIC, AND

Unmarried, AND either

Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school, OR

Became permanently incapable of self support prior to age 18.

Dependent Parents

The following parents of a deceased veteran may qualify for DIC benefits:

Biological

Adoptive

Foster parents – must have stood in the relationship for at least one year prior to veteran’s last entry into active service.

Surviving parents must have an income below a certain level to qualify for DIC.

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