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Monday, November 4, 2013

Benefits Available to Survivor's Of Military Veterans- DIC

Survivor’s Benefit – DIC

Mary’s husband was rated 100% service-connected for a cancer related to Agent Orange exposure.  After receiving Compensation for a number of years, Mary’s husband dies of the cancer.  Mary is 76, and is no longer able to care for herself in her home. She can no longer bathe or dress herself, and she needs someone to manage her medications.

What benefits are available to Mary?  What about other surviving spouses or dependent children of veterans?

There are two monetary benefits available to the surviving spouses or dependent children of veterans.   One is available to the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, when the veteran’s death is not considered to be service-connected.  The other benefit is available when the death of the veteran is related to his service connected injury in some way.  This benefit is called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or DIC.

DIC is a monthly benefit that is available to a surviving spouse or dependent child of certain deceased veterans.

When is this benefit available? 

First, the death had to have been under the following conditions:

  •  A military member died on active duty
  • Or, a veteran who died as a result of a service-connected injury or disease;
  • Or,   the veteran died as a result of a non-service connected injury or disease, but the veteran was receiving or entitled to receive Compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated totally disabling
  • For at least ten years immediately preceding death,
  • Or, since the veteran was released from active duty and he or she was receiving or entitled to receive Compensation for five years immediately preceding death,
  • Or for one year preceding death, if the veteran was a former prisoner of war.

A surviving spouse is eligible if she or he meets the requirements for marriage, and is not remarried.  Once the spouse remarries, she or he loses eligibility during the subsequent marriage.

Surviving children are eligible for DIC if they are unmarried, under the age of 18, or between 18 and 23 and attending school. 

A helpless child of the veteran is eligible if the child is incapable of self-support, and the child was disabled before the age of 18. 

Currently, the surviving spouse is eligible for a monthly payment of $1215.00 per month.  If the veteran was entitled to a total disability for at least 8 years prior to death, and the spouse was married to him/her the entire 8 years, the surviving spouse is eligible for an addition $258.00.

In this case, Mary may be eligible for an additional $301.00 if she is has trouble performing some of her activities of daily living and is in need of the assistance of another person on a regular basis to help her accomplish those activities of daily living.  Mary should file a claim for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) with the Department of Veterans Affairs on VA Form 21-534 or 21-534 EZ, and include a doctor’s statement and VA Form 21-2680 indicating that Mary is deficient in some of the activities of daily living. 


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The Elrod-Hill Law Firm,LLC assists clients with Estate Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid, Elder Care Law, Probate, Special Needs Planning and Pet Trusts in the North Atlanta area including the counties of Dekalb, Gwinnett and Fulton.



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