22 May VA Disability Survivor Benefits Eligibility
Unfortunately, many of our patriotic service members are either killed in the line of duty or suffer serious and debilitating disabilities during their service that eventually become fatal. These brave service members often leave behind a family of survivors who are left to carry on without their loved one. The death of a veteran can create a serious financial burden for the surviving family members, especially if the service member was the family’s main source of income.
However, certain eligible surviving family members of a veteran who were killed in the line of duty or died as a result of a combat-related injury are eligible for a VA disability survivor benefit, which is referred to as the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefit. The DIC veteran survivor benefit is a tax-free monthly benefit that surviving family members can use to manage their financial situation after the death of their loved one. The surviving family members that are eligible to apply for the DIC benefit are spouses, dependent children, and parents.
Eligibility of A Surviving Spouse
In order to be eligible for VA survivor benefits, spouses must have:
- Been married to the service member who died in the line of duty, in active duty training, or in inactive duty training
- Been validly married to the service member prior to January 1, 1957
- Married the veteran within fifteen years of discharge from the period of service associated with the disability or aggravation of a disability
- Been married to the veteran for at least one year
Alternatively, a surviving spouse can be considered eligible for benefits if the spouse had a child with the veteran, cohabitated with the veteran on a continuous basis prior to the veteran’s death, and is not currently remarried. If the surviving spouse was separated from the veteran, the surviving spouse must not have been at fault in the separation in order to be eligible for veteran’s survivor’s benefits.
Eligibility of A Surviving Dependent
In order to be eligible for these benefits as a surviving dependent, the dependent must:
- Not be included on the DIC application or benefit of the surviving spouse
- Be under the age of eighteen or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school
- Be unmarried
Eligibility of Surviving Parents
In order to be eligible for benefits as a surviving parent, the parent must:
- Have filled the role of a parent for a period of at least one year prior to the veteran’s most recent active service
- Have an income level below a set threshold
Help For Surviving Family Members To Get Benefits
Eligible surviving family members of a deceased veteran may apply to the DIC program to obtain compensation. For more information about DIC or any of the other disability benefits available to veterans, contact an experienced disabilities law attorney today. At the Klok Law Firm LLC we are proud to assist our nation’s disabled veterans and their families.