If you are a veteran or active member of the U.S. military, you have access to a massive department offered by the federal government that is only available to you: The Department of Veteran Affairs.
Through the Veteran Affairs Department, also known as the VA, you can have access to countless benefits such as education assistance, career assistance, health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and so much more. However, one of the best cash assistance resources offered by the VA is The VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) program.
The Veteran Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) program is a program that provides qualifying surviving spouses and dependents of deceased military personnel with untaxed monthly cash assistance.
To qualify for this assistance, the veteran or service member’s family member must have died:
- While on active duty, inactive duty training, or active duty for training,
- From a service-connected injury or illness, or
- While he or she was already qualifying to receive compensation from the VA for a service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling.
If the veteran or active military family member was qualifying to receive disability compensation at the time of their death, they must have had a certain rating:
- Since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years preceding their death,
- For the last ten years before the veteran’s death, or
- For at least one year before the veteran’s death, if they were a former prisoner of war and died after September 30th, 1999.
If you have confirmed that you are a surviving spouse or family member who can qualify for benefits, you can decide to apply to start receiving this helpful cash.
If you are applying for DIC Veterans benefits as a surviving spouse, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You lived with the service member or veteran until their death, or
- If separated, you were not at fault for the separation.
Additionally, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You were married for at least one year,
- You and the service member or veteran had a child, or
- You were married to the service member or veteran within 15 years of their military service when their qualifying illness or injury began to get worse.
Finally, if you remarried the spouse who passed away, you must meet one of these requirements:
- You were at least 57 years old when you remarried, and you remarried on or after December 16th, 2003, or
- You were at least 55 years old when you remarried, and you remarried on or after January 5th, 2021.
The VA DIC rates as of 2023 are $1,562.74 a month. However, your family may be applicable for even more additional benefits. Learn more about the additional available benefits below.
Aid and Attendance: There is an additional $387.15 aid and allowance DIC veterans benefit for survivors who are disabled and need assistance with daily activities.
Housebound Allowance: If you are housebound due to a disability, you may be eligible for an additional $181.37.
Transitional Benefits and DIC Apportionment: VA dependent indemnity comp is available if you have one or more children under 18. The rate is $387.15 per eligible child. Additionally, you may be eligible to receive a transitional benefit of $332.00 for the first two years following the service member or veteran’s death.
8-Year Provision: 8-Year provision provides an additional $331.84 DIC veterans benefits if the veteran had a totally disabling rating for at least eight years immediately preceding their death and you were married to the veteran for those same eight years.
If you qualify for cash assistance benefits, you can apply with the VA online, by mail, or at a VA regional office. Additionally, you can work with an accredited representative to file your claim.