Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of the following deceased veterans:
- Military service member who died while on active duty or active duty for training, or
- Veteran whose death resulted from a service related injury or disease, or
- Veteran who was receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated 100% permanent and total (cannot be a temporary rating) for at least 10 years immediately before death even if the death was due to a non-service connected disability, or
- Veteran who was receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated 100% permanent and total (cannot be a temporary rating) since their release from active duty and for at least five years before death, or
- Former Prisoner of War who was receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated 100% permanent and total (cannot be a temporary rating) for at least one year and died after September 30, 1999.
The surviving spouse is eligible if he/she:
- Was married to the veteran for at least one year, and
- Cohabitated with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, and
- Is not currently remarried.
If a child was born during the marriage, the one year of marriage requirement does not apply.
A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue receiving DIC.
The surviving child(ren) would be eligible if he/she is:
- Unmarried, and
- Under age 18 or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.
There are certain circumstances where a veteran would not have had to be service connected at the time of death in order for the survivors to receive this benefit. Certain medical conditions can be presumed to be caused by a veteran’s active service even after death. For example, if a veteran served in-country Vietnam and died of diabetes type 2, ischemic heart disease, or the numerous other disabilities presumed to be caused by Agent Orange exposure, the survivors may be eligible for DIC based on the fact the veteran could have been service connected had they filed a claim prior to their death. This is just an example; there are many other circumstances which could render a surviving spouse and/or child(ren) eligible for this benefit.
Amount of Payments
DIC is paid to a spouse at the monthly rate of $1,340.14. For each dependent child, the monthly rate is $332.00. There is a different pay scale if the veteran’s death occurred prior to January 1, 1993 but the minimum is $1,340.14 per month.
If the veteran was in receipt of, or entitled to receive, VA compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated 100% permanent and total (cannot be a temporary rating) at the time of death for a continuous period of at least eight years immediately preceding death and the surviving spouse was married to the veteran for those same eight years, add $284.57 to the basic monthly rate.
If the surviving spouse is deemed by the VA to be permanently housebound, add $155.53 to the basic monthly rate.
If the surviving spouse is deemed by the VA to be in need of aid and attendance, add $332.00 to the basic monthly rate.
Once DIC is approved, there may be additional benefits to which the surviving spouse and/or children may be eligible for. They are:
- CHAMPVA (health insurance)-if not receiving Tricare.
- Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)-for surviving spouses and children ages 18-26. There are some exceptions to the age limits. Marriage of the child is not a bar from this program.
- Property Tax Credit.
All payments are non-taxable.