Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monthly monetary benefit payable to the surviving dependents of a deceased veteran. There is no minimum active duty service requirement for DIC claims; however, there may be a 90-day length-of-service requirement if the cause of death was a chronic disease.

Benefits for Surviving Spouse and Children

As with disability compensation for a veteran, DIC benefits for a surviving spouse and/or surviving children is not income-based. It is the benefit payable if the veteran died while on active duty, in line of duty and not due to willful misconduct; or, when death was after service, if a service-connected disability either directly caused, or contributed substantially to and materially hastened, the veteran’s death.

It is not required that a service connection was established prior to the veteran’s death for the condition which caused or contributed to death.

The rules and procedures for establishing service connection for a veteran’s death are essentially similar to the rules for establishing a service-connected disability for a living veteran, with due consideration of the finality of the evidence in a death claim.

Who is Eligible?

Since 1978, DIC has been payable as if the death were service-connected when a veteran who:

  • Had been rated totally disabled from service-connected causes (whether 100 percent or by reason of individual un-employability) for 10 continuous years or longer at the time of death dies from any cause other than willful misconduct.

  • If the veteran was out of service less than 10 years, DIC is payable if a total disability rating was in effect for a period of at least five continuous years, from the date the veteran left service to the date of death.

  • Since November 30, 1999, DIC is payable to the surviving spouse and/or children of a former prisoner of war who was rated totally disabled from service-connected causes for at least one year at the time of death, and who died from any cause (other than willful misconduct) after September 30, 1999.

  • DIC is also payable as if the death was service-connected if the veteran dies as a result of USDVA examination, hospital care, medical or surgical treatment, or vocational rehabilitation; or if a disability arising from such circumstances either directly causes, or contributes substantially to and materially hastens, the veteran’s death.

  • DIC rates payable for a surviving spouse and/or child are dependent on a number of factors, including when the veteran died and the number and status of any dependent children.

Select form

Dependency Indemnity Compensation, Widows Pension, and Accrued benefits forms.

CHAMPVA

If you’re the spouse or child of a Veteran with disabilities or the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who has died, use VA Form 10-10d to apply for health insurance through CHAMPVA (the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs).

Select form

CHAMPVA forms.

VA form 21P 534EZ

Use this notice and the attached application to submit a claim for DIC, Survivors Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits.

CH35-pamphlet-2

VBA 22-5490-ARE

CFW-Application-DVS-40-July2021

Dependents Application for VA education Benefits review pamphlet and complete VA for 22-5490. You may be also eligible for the California Department of Veterans Affairs College tuition fee waiver program, complete the DVS 40 for review and eligibility determination.

VA form 10-10d

Use this form if you’re the spouse or child of a Veteran with disabilities or the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who has died.

VA Form 10-7959C

Use VA Form 10-7959C If you’re applying for CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs) and have other health insurance to declare as part of your VA Form 10-10d application. Or you need to report changes in your other non-VA health insurance, such as new beneficiaries or coverage changes.

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