Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death


To compensate surviving spouses, children and parents for the death of any veteran who died because of a service-connected disability, or while in the active military, naval or air service.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Office: Veterans Benefits Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use.
Program Accomplishments
In fiscal year 2007, 332,837 cases of survivors were receiving benefits. Estimates for subsequent periods are: fiscal year 2008, 336,824 and fiscal year 2009, 341,502.
38 U.S.C. 1121, 1141, 1310, 1311, 1312, 1313, 1314, 1315, 1316, 1318.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Death Compensation is payable to an unmarried surviving spouse, unmarried children and dependent parent or parents of the deceased veteran who must have died before January 1, 1957, because of a service-connected disability. For deaths on or after January 1, 1957, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is payable. Effective January 2005, surviving spouses who receive DIC and have one or more children under age 18 will receive $250 a month in addition to their current rate. This increased rate applies only to months "occurring" during the two-year period beginning on the date entitlement to DIC began. It ceases on the first month beginning after the expiration of the two-year period or the month in which all of the surviving spouse's children have attained the age of 18, or are removed from the award, whichever is earlier.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Surviving spouses, children and parents of deceased veterans.
Death certificate, marriage certificate, birth certificate(s), and military discharge certificate.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
An application (VA Form 21-534 for surviving spouses, and or children; 21-535 for parents) may be obtained from any VA office or regional office (see Appendix IV of the Catalog) and submitted to the regional office. Applications are also available on-line at
Award Procedure
Awards are authorized at the regional office.
None, but entitlement is established from the first day of the month in which the veteran's death occurred if the claim is received within 1 year after the date of death; otherwise, entitlement is established from the date of receipt of the claim.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approximately 77 percent completed in 180 days or less.
Available through special board. In the event of a denial, claimants are advised of appeal rights and procedures at the time of notification.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
No restrictions.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Any change in the marital status of a surviving spouse, child, or parent must be reported promptly. Also, a change in school attendance of children over 18 must be reported. Parents must report changes in income promptly. Parents are sent an eligibility verification report to review continued eligibility and changes of rates based on changes of income.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Not applicable.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Veterans Benefits Administration field offices.
Headquarters Office
Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9700.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments) FY 07 $4,547,883,000; FY 08 est 4,751,938,000; and FY 09 est $4,974,508,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Monthly rates of DIC range from $462 for one child when no spouse is entitled; from $1,091 to $2,328 for a surviving spouse, with $271 additional if the surviving spouse is in need of aid and attendance, or $128 if housebound. A surviving spouse is also entitled to an additional $271 monthly for each child under age 18. Monthly rates for parents range from $5 to $537 depending upon income and whether single or married. An additional $291 is payable if the parent is in need of aid and attendance. Monthly Death Compensation ranges from $87 for a surviving spouse to $121 for a widow or widower with one child; plus $29 for each additional child. An additional allowance or $79 if widow, widower or dependent parent is in need of aid and attendance. Assistance for a dependent parent is $75 for one alone and $80 for two.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
38 CFR 3.4(C) and 3.5; "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-0-01, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954 Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is: 051-000-00233-4.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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