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Compensation for Survivors and Dependents

If you’re the survivor or parent of a Servicemember who died in the line of duty, or the survivor or parent of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, you may be able to get a tax-free monetary benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Find out if you can get compensation.

As a surviving spouse, can I get compensation from VA?

If you’re a surviving spouse, you can get compensation if you:

  • Married the Veteran before January 1, 1957, or within 15 years of their leaving the military, or
  • Were married to the Veteran for at least 1 year, or
  • Had a child with the Veteran, aren’t currently remarried, and either lived with the Veteran without a break until the Veteran’s death or, if separated, weren’t at fault for the separation

As a surviving child, can I get compensation from VA?

If you’re a surviving child, you can get compensation if you aren’t married and aren’t included on the surviving spouse’s compensation, and

  • Are under the age of 18 (or under the age of 23 if attending school), or
  • Were adopted out of the Veteran’s family, but meet all other eligibility criteria

To get compensation, one of the following must be true:

  • The Servicemember died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive-duty training.
  • The Veteran died from a service-connected illness or injury.
  • The Veteran didn’t die from a service-connected illness or injury, but was eligible to get VA compensation for a service-connected disability that VA rated as totally disabling:
    • For at least 10 years before their death, or
    • Since the Veteran’s release from active duty and for at least 5 years immediately before their death, or
    • For at least 1 year before their death if the Veteran was a former Prisoner of War who died after September 30, 1999

Note: “Totally disabling” means the Veteran’s injuries make it impossible for them to work.

What kind of benefits can I get?

Tax-free monetary benefits

As a surviving spouse or child, how do I get compensation?

You’ll need to apply for compensation. Fill out the Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Download VA Form 21-534.

You can apply for this benefit in 1 of 3 ways:

As a surviving parent, can I get compensation?

You may be able to get compensation as a surviving parent if:

  • The Servicemember died in the line of duty or the Veteran died from a service-connected illness or injury, and
  • Your income is below a certain amount. View the parents DIC rate table.

As a surviving parent, how do I get compensation?

You’ll need to apply for compensation. Fill out the Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by Parent(s). Download Form 21-535.

You can apply for this benefit in 1 of 3 ways: