There are a number of benefits available to surviving spouses, children, and parents of deceased veterans.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC):
DIC is a monthly benefit payable to eligible survivors of;
- a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or
- a veteran who died as the result of a service-connected disability and who was receiving (or entitled to receive) VA disability compensation at the 100% rate for at least 10 years immediately before death, or since the veteran's discharge from active duty and for at least 5 years immediately preceding death, or for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former POW who died after September 30, 1999.
The surviving spouse is eligible if they validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957, or was married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training, or married to the veteran within 15 years of separation from the period of service in which the injury or disease that caused the veteran's death began, or was married to the veteran for a minimum of one year, or had a child with the veteran, AND cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran's death, and is not currently remarried (a surviving
spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and attained the age of 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC).
Surviving children may be eligible for DIC if they were not included on the surviving spouse's DIC, unmarried, and under the age of 18, or between 18 and 23 and attending school.
Currently the rate for DIC is $1,233.00 monthly for an eligible surviving spouse. The rate increases for every qualifying dependent child and if the spouse is housebound or in the need of aid and attendance. The VA also adds a transitional benefit of $301.00 to the monthly DIC if there are children under the age of 18, which is based on a family unit and not on individual children.
Parents' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC):
Parents' DIC is an income based monthly benefit for parents of a service member or veteran who died from a disease or injury incurred while on active duty, active duty for training, or an injury incurred in the line of duty, or certain diseases while on inactive duty training, or a service-connected disability.
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The death pension benefit is a needs based benefit payable to a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who had wartime service. Basic eligibility criteria exists when;
- the deceased veteran was discharged from military service under other than dishonorable conditions, and
- they served at least 90 days or more of active duty with at least one day during a period of war, and
- you are a surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, and
- your countable income is below the yearly limit set by law, which for 2013 is $8,359.00 for a surviving spouse with no dependent children, and $ 10,942.00 for a surviving spouse with one
If you're a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a deceased service member or veteran, you may be eligible for some of these benefits. Either Contact me for more
information or you can fillout the VAF 21-534 below and submit it VA. If you belive you have all of the needed evidence up front to attach to the claim, then you should fill out the VAF 21-534ez
rather than the 21-534.