Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Veterans Benefits Administration

Program Description

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Servicemembers who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Eligibility

  • The surviving spouse was:
  • Married to a Servicemember 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, 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.
  • Eligibility (Surviving Child)
  • Not included on the surviving spouse's DIC, AND
  • Unmarried, AND
  • Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

How To Apply

  • Complete VA Form 21-534, "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child and mail to your regional office, OR
  • Work with an accredited representative or agent OR
  • Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional office on our Facility Locator page OR
  • If the death was in service, your Military Casualty Assistance Officer will assist you in completing VA Form 21-534a, " Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child" and mail to the Philadelphia Regional Office
  • For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit our How to Apply page.

Documentation

  • The Servicemember died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
  • The Veteran died from an injury or disease deemed to be related to military service, OR
  • The Veteran died from a non service-related injury or disease, but 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


Contact Info

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

800-827-1000
380 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903