Who Qualifies for VA DIC Benefits?
Understanding VA DIC benefits. DIC stands for Dependency Indemnity Compensation. Qualified surviving spouses, children, or parents of a deceased veteran or service member may receive a tax-free, monetary benefit.
In 2019, the Veterans Administration significantly expanded the Dependency Indemnity Compensation program. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act extended the service-related presumption to certain servicemen and women. Including those stationed on most offshore naval vessels in the Vietnam theater during the 1960s and early 1970.
The service-related disability connection is usually the most complex portion of a DIC claim. Frequently, fatal illnesses have multiple causes. Not all of them are directly related to military service. Fortunately, the burden of proof is rather low in these claims. Typically, the claimant must only prove that, as likely as not, a service-related condition significantly contributed to the Veteran’s death. However, these rules can become very intricate, as outlined below.
DIC claims can be rather complex procedurally, as well. A VA disability attorney can evaluate your claim and offer solid legal advice, so you can make the best possible decisions for yourself and your family. DIC cash benefits are usually about $1,300 per month.
As mentioned, all DIC claimants must establish a service-related connection. In this context, the VA will consider a Veteran or service member’s death service-related if:
- The death that occurred during active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. Incidents like a fatal off-base car crash sometimes count, or
- A Veteran or service member died as a direct result of a service-related illness or injury, or
- A Veteran or service member died due to a non-service-related illness or injury while eligible to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability rated as totally disabling for a specified period of time.
Surviving spouses are eligible for DIC benefits if they were
- Married to the Veteran or service member before January 1, 1957, or
- Married to the Veteran or service member within 15 years of their discharge from the period of military service during which the service-connected disability began or became aggravated, or
- The surviving spouse was married to the Veteran or service member for at least 1 year, or
- Had a child with the Veteran or service member, are not currently remarried, and either lived with the Veteran or service member continuously until their death or, if separate, were not at fault for the separation.
Additionally, if you remarried on or after December 16, 2003, and you were at least 57 years of age at the time of remarrying, you can still continue to receive DIC compensation.
Surviving Children and Surviving Parents
It is also possible for surviving children and surviving parents to qualify for DIC benefits. However, specific eligibility requirements must be met.
Contact Experienced Attorneys
DIC claims are difficult to establish, but we have a solid track record in this area. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer in San Diego, contact the Law Offices of Peter S. Cameron, APC at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.