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Monday, June 29, 2020

What Is Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

The United States is proud of our veterans and that which they sacrifice so that our freedom remains secure. That is why there are many veteran benefit programs offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The government also recognizes that the parents of veterans have given much to this country and have made sacrifices of their own. That is why some veteran benefit programs are offered to the parents of veterans. One such program is Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

What is Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

Parents’ DIC is an income-based benefit program. Benefits are paid out to parents of a military servicemember or veteran upon who they were financially dependent and who died due to a service-related cause. Parents include those that are biological, adoptive, or foster. A foster parent is eligible for Parents’ DIC benefits if they acted as the parent to the veteran for a minimum of one year prior to the veteran’s last active duty entry. Service-related causes of death include:

  • A disease or injury that was incurred or aggravated while on active duty or training;
  • An injury that was incurred or aggravated while in the line of duty of training; or
  • A service-related disability.

These benefits are tax-free and the amount paid out is based on the parent or parents’ countable income. Because Parents’ DIC is a needs-based program, if a parent or parents have income that exceed qualifying amounts, then no benefit will be paid out. All sources of income must be reported to the VA. This includes things like wages, retirement payments, and annuity payments. There are certain deductions that can be taken to decrease countable income and may work to both make you eligible for benefits and increase your monthly benefit payments.

To apply for Parents’ DIC you need to complete VA Form 21-535, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by Parent(s). The completed application needs to be mailed to the Pension Management Center (PMS) that has jurisdiction over your claim. Alternatively, you may submit the form to your closest regional VA office. Should your claim be approved, the amount of your benefits will depend on a number of other factors. It will depend on whether a parent lives with their spouse. It will depend on the parent’s income and spousal income. It will also depend on whether a parent also receives Aid and Attendance. Aid and Attendance is a supplement paid on top of base pay in order to provide some additional income to those who need assistance completing everyday tasks or who live in an assisted living facility.

Veteran Benefits Attorney

At Monk Law, our team of dedicated attorneys is proud to serve veterans and their families. We are here to answer your veteran benefits questions and help you access these much deserving benefits. Contact Monk Law today.


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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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