Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors

What does Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, and are you eligible to receive it?

A monthly check paid to eligible survivors of active duty service members and veterans whose deaths are determined to be service-related, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a benefit given to help loved ones left behind.

The Veterans Administration provides DIC benefits to the surviving spouse and/or dependent children, depending on some specific circumstances.

To find out if you’re eligible to receive this type of veterans death benefit, read the following information, originally published on  This explains the eligibility requirements for survivors of deceased veterans to receive DIC.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of certain deceased veterans. The following is a summary of this important benefit:

Eligible Survivors:

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of the following:

  • Military service member who died while on active duty, OR
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling
    • for at least 10 years immediately before death, OR
    • since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR
    • for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

DIC Eligibility

The surviving spouse is eligible if he or she:

  • validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
  • was married to a service member who died on active duty, 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, OR
  • had a child with the veteran, AND
  • cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
  • is not currently remarried.

Note:  A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.

The surviving child(ren) if he or she is:

  • unmarried AND
  • under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

(Note: Certain helpless adult children are entitled to DIC. Call the toll-free number for the eligibility requirements for those survivors.) The surviving parents may be eligible for an income-based benefit. See our fact sheet, Parents’ DIC, or call the toll-free number below for more information.

Monthly Rate

Dependency and indemnity compensation is paid to a surviving spouse at the monthly rate of $1154.

Note: If the veteran’s death was before January 1, 1993 you should check out the DVA DIC payment tables.

Additional Allowances:

  • Add $246 if at the time of the veteran’s death, the veteran was in receipt of or entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling (including a rating based on individual unemployability) for a continuous period of at least 8 years immediately preceding death AND the surviving spouse was married to the veteran for those same 8 years.
  • Add $286 per child for each dependent child under age 18
  • If the surviving spouse is entitled to aid and attendance (A&A), add $286.
  • If the surviving spouse is entitled to Housebound, add $135

*DIC apportionment rates approved by the Under Secretary for Benefits will be the additional allowance received for each child.

Whenever there is no surviving spouse of a deceased veteran entitled to dependency and indemnity compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation shall be paid in equal shares to the children of the deceased veteran at the following monthly rates divided by the number of children:

  1. one child, $488;
  2. two children, $701;
  3. three children, $915; and
  4. more than three children, $915, plus $174 for each child in excess of three.

The Application Process:

You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-534 (Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child), and submitting it to the VA regional office that serves your area. Call the toll-free number below for information about supporting materials that VA may need to process your claim.

For More Information Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000.

The DIC payment is adjusted on an annual basis to accommodate any changes in cost of living expenses.

If you are going through a period of grief, allow us to make the process of claiming veterans benefits less stressful.  We are experienced and knowledgeable veterans attorneys that have served many military families across the country, helping them receive the DIC benefits they deserve.  Call the veterans attorneys at Bander, Bander & Alves and we’ll do everything in our power to make this time a little bit easier on your whole family.

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