If you are the survivor of a veteran, you may be eligible to receive a pension or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Over the next few posts, we’re going to talk about the second one, often referred to as DIC, which very few survivors are educated about.
This benefit is available to the spouses and children of veterans whose deaths are connected to service. Today, we’re going to shed light on who is eligible for DIC:
Surviving Spouses. A veteran’s eligible surviving spouse is the first person in line to receive DIC. This payment will be influenced by any children who are minors.
Surviving Children. If an eligible spouse has not filed a claim, or if there is no surviving spouse, then children are next to receive DIC. Eligibility is determined by whether a child meets the following criteria:
· The child is a minor, younger than age 18. In this case, the benefit is paid to a “fiduciary-payee”, usually a parent or legal guardian.
· The child is age 18-23 and enrolled in educational courses at an approved institution. If eligible, he or she will receive benefits in his or her own right but will have to choose between the DIC benefit and any educational benefits he or she is eligible to receive.
· The child is what the VA terms a “helpless adult child”. In this case, the child will receive the award in his or her own right.
Dependent Parents. Third in line are dependent parents of deceased veterans. In this case alone, the reward amount will vary based on strict income qualifications. To continue receiving benefits, dependent parents will be required to complete annual income reports with the VA. DIC payments for dependent parents can also be divided if the parents are divorced or not living together.
As with anything related to Veterans Disability Benefits, there are always exceptions. If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran whose death was connected to service and you believe you may be eligible for DIC, the experienced Veterans Benefits Attorneys of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.