Disability and Indemnity Compensation
Updated: Jun 2, 2018
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
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
Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.
Note: A child adopted out of the Veteran’s family may be eligible for DIC if all other eligibility criteria are met.
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 21P-534ez, "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and/or Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child and mail to the Pension Management Center that serves your state, OR
Work with an accredited representative or agent OR
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.