Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)/ VA Survivor Benefits is a tax free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of Service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training or survivors of veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. DIC for parents is an income based benefit.
The service connected disability or impairment does not have to be the exact cause of death. There are many ways that a veteran’s service connected disability could contribute to his/her cause of death. For example, if the veteran is service-connected for diabetes, and he/she dies of heart disease, this could be considered service related as diabetes is known to cause heart disease. We are well educated on these matters. We will help you determine if your loved one’s cause of death may be related to his/her time in service and whether you may qualify for survivor benefits.
In order to qualify for DIC, you must have been married to the veteran for at least one year before death. In most cases, common law marriage does count.