V.A. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

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What is V.A. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

DIC is a monthly payment to the surviving spouse and/or dependent children of a veteran who dies from service-related causes, or who was totally disabled by a service-connected disability at the time of death (even if the disability didn't cause the death). DIC is payable regardless of the survivor's income or assets.

Who's eligible for V.A. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

A veteran's surviving spouse and dependent children are eligible for DIC if the veteran died as the result of:

  • A disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, while on active duty.

  • An injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty training.

  • A service-related disability or a condition directly related to a service-connected disability.

A veteran's surviving spouse and dependent children are also eligible for DIC if at least one of the following conditions is true for the veteran at the time of death:

  • The veteran had been continuously rated by the V.A. as totally disabled for the ten years immediately before death.

  • The veteran had been continuously rated by the V.A. as totally disabled from the time of discharge from the service and for at least five years before death.

  • The veteran was a former POW who died after September 30, 1999, and who was continuously rated by the V.A. as totally disabled for at least one year immediately before death.

How much are V.A. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Payments?

The amount a survivor receives in DIC payments depends on when the veteran died.

If the veteran's death was on or after January 1, 1993: For the survivor of a veteran who died on or after January 1, 1993, the basic monthly DIC rate is $1,154. In addition to this basic amount, survivors of certain veterans also receive extra compensation:

  • $246 per month added compensation if at the time of the veteran's death, the veteran had a service-connected disability rated by the V.A. as totally disabling (including a rating based on being unemployable) for at least eight years immediately before death. If this compensation is to go to a surviving spouse, the spouse had to be married to the veteran for the eight years immediately before the veteran's death.

  • $286 per month added compensation for each dependent child (under age 18 or totally disabled before age 18).

  • $286 per month added compensation if a surviving spouse requires the regular aid and attendance of another person.

  • $135 per month added compensation if a surviving spouse is housebound.

If the veteran's death was before January 1, 1993: The amount of DIC payments for the surviving spouse of a veteran who died before January 1, 1993, depends on the veteran's pay grade at the time of discharge from the service. These various amounts can be found on the V.A. website's DIC compensation page.

How does the survivor of a veteran apply for V.A. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

The survivor of a veteran can begin the application process for DIC by downloading and completing the V.A.'s online Form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by Surviving Spouse or Child.

You must send the completed application and any copies of other requested documents to the V.A. regional office in the region where the survivor lives.

Where can I get help applying for V.A. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

You can get free assistance with any V.A.-related question or problem by phone or in person through one of the V.A.'s Vet Centers, which are located in every state. You can also get assistance by contacting the V.A.'s Veterans Benefits Administration office nearest you. The V.A. also has a toll-free telephone help line at 800-827-1000.


4 months ago, said...

I have a question. My husband was KIA October 2009. I have been receiving DIC for both my son and I since he was killed. I am currently engaged to be married and I understand my DIC benefits will be terminated due to my marriage. My question is will my son then be able to apply for and receive DIC benefits?


about 2 years ago, said...

I feel that the 10 year waiting rule is very cruel. We have been married for 32 years. Four years ago my husband had to quit working due to his service connected disability. I had to quit my job to help him . If something happens before the 10 years are up I will have no income.


over 2 years ago, said...

I want to know If I must be required to disclose all of my assets before getting my DIC payments?


over 3 years ago, said...

Can you move overseas and still keep your DIC payments?? Thank you


almost 4 years ago, said...

why does this take so long? My husband died in December, and we filed the paperwork before the end of the year. Still nothing. Will lose my house if the VA doesn't hurry up! I don't understand what takes so long. He was 100% P/T disabled for 15 years before he died. Not rocket science.


almost 5 years ago, said...

Thank you for all this information. It will take time to get through it but I am greatful to all of you for working so hard to provide this. My husband to totally permantly 100% disabled.


almost 6 years ago, said...

I have been advised to apply for DIC. Can you please send me the form to be completed? I am already in receipt of the Veteran's Widow's Pension.