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Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

The DIC payments may be authorized for surviving spouses who have not remarried, unmarried children under age 18, disabled children, children between the age of 18 and 23 if attending a VA-approved school, and low-income parents of Service members who die from:

A disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training.
An injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty while on inactive duty training.
A disability compensable by the Veterans’ Affairs.
DIC paid to a surviving spouse is not based on the member’s military pay grade. The amount paid for a spouse with one or more children of the deceased is increased for each child. The amount of the DIC payment for parents vary according to the number of parents, the amount of their individual or combined total annual income, and whether they live together or if remarried, living with a spouse. The surviving spouse and parents who receive DIC may be granted a special allowance for aid and attendance if a patient is in a nursing home, disabled, or blind and needs or requires the regular aid and attendance of another person. If they are not so disabled as to require the regular aid and attendance of another person but who, due to disability, are permanently housebound, they may be granted additional special allowances. DIC payments to a surviving spouse are payable for life, as long as the spouse does not remarry. Should the surviving spouse remarry, payments are terminated for life. Your CAR or the nearest VA office will explain the benefit to you, the amounts that can be paid, and help you complete the required claim forms.
The claim form when applying for this benefit is VA Form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or Death Pension Accrued Benefits by Surviving Spouse or Child, or VA Form 21-535, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by Parent(s).
Denial of Claim for DIC. If the VA denies your claim for DIC benefits you may file an appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The appeal must be filed within one year from the date of the notification of a VA decision to file an appeal. The first step in the appeal process is for you to file a written notice of disagreement with the VA regional office that made the decision. This is a written statement that you disagree with the VA’s decision. Following receipt of the written notice, the VA will furnish you a “Statement of the Case” describing what facts, laws and regulations were used in deciding the case. To complete the request for appeal, you must file a “Substantive Appeal” within 60 days of the mailing of the Statement of Case, or within one year from the date the VA mailed the its decision, whichever period ends later. Your CAR or the nearest VA office will help you file a written notice of disagreement with the VARO (Veteran Affairs Regional Office) that made the decision.

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