Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Surviving Spouses and Dependents of Veterans

Armed Forces Man and Woman ShadowsVeterans who suffered a disability due to their service in the Armed Forces may be eligible for VA disability benefits. In addition, spouses and dependents of a Veteran who died while in active service or due to a disability may be entitled to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

Surviving Spouses Eligible for DIC Benefits

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a monthly benefit that surviving spouses and dependents of Veterans may be entitled to from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). To be eligible, a surviving spouse must prove she was married to the Veteran by showing one of the following:

  • Had married the Veteran or service member before January 1, 1957
  • Had been married to the Veteran or service member within 15 years of his discharge from the military and during this time his injury started or got worse
  • Was married to the Veteran or service member for at least one year
  • Had a child with the Veteran or service member, has not remarried, and either lived continuously with him until his death or, if separated, did not cause the separation

In addition, a surviving spouse must prove that the Veteran died while in the Armed Forces or due to a service-related condition. There are three ways this requirement can be met:

  • The service person died while he was on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive-duty training.
  • The Veteran’s death was the result of a service-related illness or injury.
  • If the Veteran did not die due to a service-related condition, he was eligible for VA disability benefits due to total disability for a certain period of time.

If the Veteran was entitled to benefits due to a 100 percent disability rating, he must have had the rating for one of the following time periods for his spouse or child to receive DIC benefits:

  • At least 10 years before his death
  • Since his discharge from the Armed Forces and for at least five years before his death
  • For at least one year from his discharge if he was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999

Dependents Who Are Eligible for DIC Benefits

A child must also show that the Veteran’s death was caused by his years of service or that it was due to a service-connected injury or disease to receive DIC benefits. All of the following must also be true:

  • He is unmarried.
  • He is not receiving benefits under a surviving spouse’s compensation.
  • He is under 18 years old or 23 years old if he is attending school.

Are you a surviving spouse or child of a Veteran? Our experienced VA disability lawyers are here to file your application, collect the evidence you need to establish your eligibility, and fight for the benefits you deserve. Fill out our online form or call our Roswell office to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.


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