Dependents of U.S military veterans gain access to several survivor benefits, thanks to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits may include VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which offers a monthly payment to surviving children, spouses, and dependent parents. Read on to find out whether you qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
The veteran needs to have met certain criteria for the surviving dependents to qualify for DIC:
- They must have passed away while on active duty training, active duty, or inactive duty training
- Those whose death isn’t connected to service-related injuries must have been receiving disability compensation
The surviving spouse also needs to meet certain criteria to qualify for the DIC benefit. For starters, they must have been married to the veteran for a period of at least one year before their death. However, surviving partners not married to the veteran also stand to qualify if they meet one or more of the following conditions:
- If they live in a state that allows common-law marriages
- If the surviving spouse and the veteran share a child and continuously lived together until the veteran’s death
- If the couple was separated, the surviving spouse did not cause the separation
A veteran’s surviving child is eligible to receive DIC benefits. However, they must meet the following criteria to qualify:
- They’re not married
- They’re not included in the compensation amount for the surviving spouse
- They’re under the age of 18 (23 if in school)
Dependent parents of a veteran can also qualify for DIC benefits. However, these individuals are only eligible if the following is deemed to be true:
- They are adoptive, biological, or foster parents to the veteran
- They fall within a specific income range
Understanding VA DIC rates
How much money do you stand to receive after qualifying for VA DIC benefits? For starters, the VA does not offer survivors an equal monthly amount to what the veteran received before their death. Instead, there are exclusive rates that change according to the annual cost-of-living adjustment. Therefore, the monthly amount will constantly shift.
Surviving parents, on the other hand, get compensation depending on their living situation and income level. Luckily, all surviving dependents might also qualify to receive additional compensation if certain factors are met.