16 Sep Understanding DIC
When a service member or veteran passes away, his or her spouse, children, and parents may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which is paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). DIC is intended for many different kinds of veterans and service members, including those who die due to a disabling condition.
Surviving Spouse and Children
Under federal law, in order for a spouse or child to be eligible for DIC, the service member or veteran must have either:
- Died from an ailment that is considered related to military service
- Died from an ailment that was not related to service, but was the recipient of VA benefits for a disability that was determined to be completely disabling:
- For ten years prior to death
- Since the veteran’s discharge from active duty and for five years before passing
- For one year before passing if the veteran was once a prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999
For a surviving spouse to be eligible for DIC, he or she must meet one of the following:
- Married to a service member who died during active duty, or while in training
- Validly married to the veteran before January 1, 1957
- Married to the veteran within 15 years of his or her discharge from the period of service in which the disease or injury that caused the death began or was aggravated
- Married to a veteran at least one year
- Had a child with the veteran and cohabited until the veteran’s death or separation, and at the time of the DIC is not remarried
A surviving child is eligible if the child is not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC, is not married, and is under 18 years of age. A child between the ages of 18 and 23 may also be eligible if he or she is attending school.
Biological, adoptive, or foster parents of service members or veterans are also eligible for DIC. There are three ways to qualify, including if the individual is a parent of a veteran who died from a service-connected disability. DIC is not paid to a parent if he or she has an annual income of over $13,456. For couples, DIC is not paid to a parent if the combined annual income of the parent and his or her spouse exceeds $18,089.
Helping Disabled Veterans
The DIC program is just one way in which the VA provides compensation for disabled veterans and their families. For more information about DIC or any of the other disability benefits available to veterans, speak with an experienced disabilities law attorney today. At the Klok Law Firm LLC, we are proud to utilize our knowledge in assisting our nation’s disabled veterans.