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Veterans Services

Survivor Benefits

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a monthly benefit payable to surviving spouses, unmarried children under 18, helpless children, those between 18 and 23 if attending a VA approved school, and low-income parents of service personnel or veterans who died from:

  • A disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty

  • An injury incurred or aggravated while on inactive duty training

  • A disability compensable by VA

DIC payments may also be authorized if, at time of death:

The veteran was continuously rated totally Service Connected disabled for 10 years but death was not the result of a service connected physical disability

Payments of DIC are subject to offset by amounts received from judicial proceedings brought on account of the veteran’s death. All other income of the recipient is not a factor in the award of DIC.

For current rates go to:  http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/comp03.htm

An additional amount is added to the basic rate if the deceased veteran had been rated totally service connected disabled 8 continuous years prior to death and the surviving spouse was married to the veteran those same 8 years.

DIC payments are also made to children or parents, but the amount of the award depends on the recipients’ other income. 


Death Pension

Death Pension is a needs based benefit paid to a surviving spouse, or an unmarried child of a deceased wartime veteran.

You may be eligible if:

  • The deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND

  • The deceased veteran served at least 90 days of active military service 1 day of which was during a war time period. If he or she entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. (There are exceptions to this rule.) AND

  • You are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND

  • Your countable income is below a yearly limit set by law (The yearly limit on income is set by Congress).

Countable income includes income received from most sources by the surviving spouse and any eligible children. It includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from farming or business. There is a presumption that all of a child’s income is available to or for the surviving spouse.

VA pays you the difference between your countable income and an annual rate of payment established by congress. VA provides an on-line table of annual incomes that would qualify you for pension. This difference is generally paid in 12 equal monthly payments rounded down to the nearest dollar.