The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) slightly increased the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation rates for the new year. The changes went into effect on December 1, 2020, and they’ll remain active for one calendar year.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, or DIC as it’s often called, goes to surviving loved ones of veterans who died of a service-connected disability. Mesothelioma, for instance, affects veterans at a disproportionate rate due to the high volume of asbestos on or in ships, barracks, planes and more.
DIC is a necessary lifeline for surviving spouses and children of deceased veterans who qualified, or would have qualified, for VA Disability Compensation. It’s important for the VA to continue increasing the rates to coincide with cost-of-living adjustments.
What Are the New DIC Rates for Surviving Loved Ones?
For surviving spouses, the base DIC monthly rate is now $1,357. This amount is up around $17 from the previous year.
There are circumstances that may increase the benefit:
- $336 if beneficiary needs help with regular daily activities (Aid and Attendance)
- $157 if the beneficiary is housebound
- $336 for each child under age 18
- $289 as a transitional benefit for the first two years supporting any dependent children
A dependent child under age 18 can receive DIC if there’s no surviving spouse. This circumstance usually arises when the veteran wasn’t married to the child’s mother. The monthly amount is now $573, while children ages 18-23 in a “qualified school program” receive $284.
How to Know if You Qualify for DIC
The easiest way to explain DIC eligibility is by where asbestos exposures occurred.
If at least half of the veteran’s exposures occurred during active military service, then they would’ve qualified for Disability Compensation. After their passing, DIC replaces Disability Compensation as the benefit for surviving spouses and children.
If most exposures to asbestos occurred as a civilian, then the surviving loved ones would file for VA Survivors Pension.
We can guide you through the VA claims system. Our experts will help you uncover whether you’re eligible for DIC or Survivors Pension and file appropriately. Please email Veterans Service Representative, VA claims agent and Navy veteran Carl Jewett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources & Author
- 2021 VA DIC rates for spouses and dependents. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from: https://www.va.gov/disability/survivor-dic-rates/. Accessed: 01/07/2021.
Sources & Author