Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to the surviving spouse or dependents of certain veterans. For a survivor to be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), the veteran’s death must have resulted from one of the following causes:

  • A disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on active duty or active duty for training.
  • An injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty training.
  • A service-connected disability or a condition directly related to a service-connected disability. DIC also may be paid to survivors of veterans who were totally disabled from service-connected conditions at the time of death, even though their service-connected disabilities did not cause their deaths.

The survivor qualifies if the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and:

  • Continuously rated totally disabled for a period of 10 years immediately preceding death;
  • Continuously rated totally disabled from the date of military discharge and for at least five years immediately preceding death; or
  • A former POW who died after September 30, 1999, and who was continuously rated totally disabled for a period of at least one year immediately preceding death.

To apply for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, complete VA Form 21-534a, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by a Surviving Spouse or Child, and mail it with a copy of the veterans DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty, to your local VA regional office.