Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) tax-free payments are made to survivors of military personnel who have died in the line of duty. These payments are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Who May Receive Compensation?

DIC may be paid to eligible survivors of:

  • A serviceman or woman who died while on active duty
  • A veteran who died of a service-related injury or disease

Eligible survivors include:

  • Surviving spouses who have not remarried
  • Unmarried children under 18
  • Children attending a VA-approved school
  • Certain helpless children
  • Low-income parents

Additionally, if a surviving spouse does get remarried, but that marriage ends in death, divorce, or annulment, DIC can be restored.

How Can an Eligible Survivor Apply?

All an eligible survivor should need to do is complete VA Form 21-534. This form is called “Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child.” Once it is complete, the survivor should send it to the VA regional office. If an eligible survivor wishes to restore DIC benefits, they should only need to call 1-800-827-1000 for more information.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

A family lawyer would be able to inform you of the rights you have as an eligible survivor. A lawyer may also help in dealing with the relevant agencies.