Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation payments may be authorized for surviving spouses who have not remarried, unmarried children under age 18, disabled children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 if attending a Veterans Administration (VA)-approved school (exceptions exist, present questions to the VA adminstration), and low-income parents of service members who die from:

  • A disease or injury incurred or aggravated 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 disability compensable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

DIC paid to a surviving spouse is not based on the member’s military pay grade. The amount paid for a spouse with one or more children of the deceased is increased for each child. The amount of the DIC payment for parents varies according to the number of parents, the amount of their individual or combined total annual income, and whether they live together or if remarried, are living with a spouse. The surviving spouse and parents who receive DIC may be granted a special allowance for aid and attendance if a patient is in a nursing home, disabled, or blind and needs or requires the regular aid and attendance of another person. If they are not so disabled as to require the regular aid and attendance of another person but who, due to disability, are permanently housebound, they may be granted additional special allowances. DIC payments to a surviving spouse are payable for life, as long as the spouse does not remarry prior to age 57. Should the surviving spouse remarry before that age, payments are terminated. Your Casualty Assistance Calls Officer or the nearest VA office will explain the benefit to you, the amounts that can be paid, and help you complete the required claim forms.


VA Form 21P-534 – Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child (Including Death Compensation if Applicable) (Adobe PDF Fillable Form)

VA Form 21P-535 – Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by Parent(s) (Including Accrued Benefits and Death Compensation when Applicable)(Adobe PDF Non-fillable Form)

For further information, visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website or contact your Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO).