A DIC claim is short for VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC). This is a tax-free, monetary benefit available to surviving spouses, children, or parents of service members who have passed away either in the line of duty or from a service-related injury or condition.
You might've heard of the PACT Act, which helps both Veterans and their families after their passing. This recent law greatly expands healthcare and benefits for Veterans who have experienced toxic exposure, Agent Orange, burn pits, and other toxins during service – making them eligible for increased benefits.
Here's what you need to know:
What kind of benefits are available through VA DIC?
Tax-free, monetary benefits are available to recipients of VA DIC claims. The amount depends on who you are in relation to the Veteran, along with multiple other deciding factors.
Benefits for surviving spouses and dependents of Veterans - The VA DIC benefits available vary depending on the following factors:
When the Veteran passed away (before or after 1993)
The Veteran's VA disability rating for their condition
Whether or not the spouse or dependent has a disability
Benefits for surviving parents of Veterans - The VA DIC benefits available vary depending on the following factors:
If one or two parents are still alive
The parents' current marriage status
Related: Do you or your loved one have hypertension (high blood pressure)? This condition can lead to more severe diseases – and when proven as service-connected, there is a higher chance of a successful DIC claim that secures compensation after a Veteran's passing. See the blog: 5 conditions that can be caused by hypertension
Am I eligible for VA DIC?
Eligibility requirements for VA DIC are different depending on your relationship to the Veteran in your family. Currently, the VA website states the following:
For surviving spouses:
One of these must be true:
"You lived with the Veteran or service member without a break until their death, or"
"If you’re separated, you weren’t at fault for the separation"
And one of these must be true:
"You married the Veteran or service member within 15 years of their discharge from the period of military service during which the qualifying illness or injury started or got worse, or"
"You were married to the Veteran or service member for at least 1 year, or"
"You had a child with the Veteran or service member"
For surviving children:
All of these must be true:
"You aren’t married, and"
"You aren’t included on the surviving spouse’s compensation, and"
"You’re under the age of 18 (or under the age of 23 if attending school)"
For surviving parents:
Both of these must be true:
"You’re the biological, adoptive, or foster parent of the Veteran or service member, and"
"Your income is below a certain amount". Check the parents DIC rate table.
Note: The above is a brief overview of each; visit the VA's webpage on VA DIC for full details.
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