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Home Dependents and Survivors Benefits Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

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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 (Surviving Spouse)

To qualify for DIC, a surviving spouse must meet the requirements below.

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.

Evidence Required

Listed below are the evidence requirements for this benefit:

  • 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

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
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 15:02  


Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at www.archives.gov