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Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Divorce

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of certain deceased veterans. The following is a summary of this important benefit:

Eligible Survivors:

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of the following:

  • Military service member who died while on active duty, OR
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who 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.

DIC Eligibility

The surviving spouse is eligible if he or she:

  • validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
  • was married to a service member who died on active duty, 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.

The surviving child(ren) if he or she is:

  • unmarried AND
  • under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

(Note: Certain helpless adult children are entitled to DIC. Call the toll-free number for the eligibility requirements for those survivors.) The surviving parents may be eligible for an income-based benefit. See our fact sheet, Parents' DIC, or call the toll-free number below for more information.

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Concurrent Receipt of SBP and DIC

If the surviving spouse is awarded DIC by the VA based on the death of the same member who provided the SBP coverage, DFAS reduces the spouse's SBP annuity by the amount of the DIC award. 

  1. If the DIC payment offsets the entire SBP annuity, no annuity is paid and the SBP premiums for spouse coverage paid by the member are refunded to the surviving spouse. 
  2. If the DIC payment is less than the SBP annuity, the spouse is paid an SBP annuity equal to the difference between the full annuity and the DIC.  A refund of SBP premiums is made based on the difference between the costs actually incurred and the costs that would have been incurred in order to provide the annuity payable after the DIC reduction.
  3. For example if the SBP is $2500, and DIC is $1250, the surviving spouse would get $1250 DIC and $1250 SBP.

Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) - Surviving spouses whose Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments have been offset (partially or totally) as a result of receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), including surviving spouses of members who died while serving on active duty, are eligible for the SSIA. See our SSIA page for details.

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Monthly Rates:

(Vet's Death On or After Jan. 1, 1993)

Dependency and indemnity compensation is paid to a surviving spouse at the monthly rate of $1,257.95.

Note: If the veteran's death was before January 1, 1993 you should check out the DVA DIC payment tables.

Additional Allowances:

  • Add $267.12 if at the time of the veteran's death, the veteran was in receipt of or entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling (including a rating based on individual unemployability) for a continuous period of at least 8 years immediately preceding death AND the surviving spouse was married to the veteran for those same 8 years.
  • Add $311.64 per child for each dependent child under age 18
  • If the surviving spouse is entitled to aid and attendance (A&A), add $311.64.
  • If the surviving spouse is entitled to Housebound, add $145.99
  • If the surviving spouse has one or more children under the age 18 on the award, add the 2-year transitional benefit of $270.00 effective, December 1, 2014 (38 U.S.C. 1311(f))

*DIC apportionment rates approved by the Under Secretary for Benefits will be the additional allowance received for each child.

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The Application Process:

You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-534 (Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child), and submitting it to the VA regional office that serves your area. Call the toll-free number below for information about supporting materials that VA may need to process your claim.

For More Information Call Toll-Free 800-827-1000.

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