Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Benefit Fact Sheet
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
Impact of Benefits in Event of Suicide: Please note that in the event that a service member's death is determined to be self-inflicted, surviving family member benefits may be subject to modification IAW 38 CFR 3.302, Willful Misconduct and Line of Duty. For more information call toll free to 1-800-827-1000.
Information for survivors with PACT Act related claims: If you think you are eligible for VA DIC under the PACT Act, you can submit a new application. If your claim was denied in the past and the VA thinks you may be eligible now, the VA will try to contact you. Your claim may be able to be reevaluated, but you do not need to wait for the VA to contact you before you reapply. For more information on the PACT Act, please visit: https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/
Learn more about what the PACT Act means for you as a survivor: https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/#information-for-survivors
For survivors to be eligible, the deceased service member must have died from:
The service member 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
Additional eligibility requirements: The surviving spouse is eligible if they are:
Married to a service member 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 55, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.
The surviving child(ren) is eligible if they are:
Not included on the surviving Spouse's DIC award
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.
Certain helpless adult Children are entitled to DIC. Call the toll-free number 1-800-827-1000 for the eligibility requirements.
Parents' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: is a tax free income-based monthly benefit for the parent(s) of military service members who died in the line of duty or Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
Eligibility: Be the parent of a military service member who died in the line of duty or a Veteran who died of a service-related injury or disease. The term "parent" includes:
A foster parent is a person who stood in the relationship of a parent to the Veteran for at least one year before the Veteran's last entry into active service.
The surviving parent(s) must have an income below a limit established by law. The current limit can be found on the Parents DIC rate table page.
Amounts payable based on deaths that occurred on or after January 1, 1993: The basic monthly rate of DIC is $1,612.75 (effective December 1, 2023)
- Add $342.86 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 un-employability) 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 $399.54 for each dependent child under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school, or helpless children over 18
- If the surviving spouse is entitled to Aid and Attendance, add $399.54
- If the surviving spouse is entitled to Housebound, add $187.17
- If the surviving spouse has one or more children under the age 18 on the award, add the 2-year transitional benefit of $342.00.
Note: For retroactive claims for service members or Veterans whose death occurred before 1 Jan 1993 please check the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation current rates page.
Application Procedure: To file choose from the appropriate procedures below:
- Complete VA Form 21p-534, "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and 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
- 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 21p-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
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.
Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Webpage:
Department of Veterans Affairs Surviving Parents' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation:
Department of Veterans Affairs Surviving Spouses and Children Dependency and Indemnity Compensation:
Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Fact Sheet:
For more information, call toll free to 1-800-827-1000 or refer to the web site maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs at:
Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Division:
VA Benefits for Spouses, Dependents, Survivors, and Family Caregivers: