The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers benefits to surviving spouses and dependents of military personnel who died while in active military service and to the survivors of veterans who died after active service. Survivors and dependents can qualify for benefits, such as dependency and indemnity compensation, educational assistance and home loan guaranty.
The agency is grateful for the opportunity to provide quality information and assistance for family members suffering from the loss of their husbands and wives, sons and daughters and mothers and fathers. For questions, contact the agency toll-free at 1(800) 827-1000 or through their electronic Internet messaging service. Also, you can always contact the District's Office of Veterans Affairs at (202) 724-5454 or by email.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free benefit for the surviving spouse and dependent children.
DIC is payable to the following survivors:
- Servicemembers who died in active duty.
- Veterans who died from service-related disabilities.
- Certain veterans who were being paid 100 percent VA disability compensation at time of death.
- Death pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. The benefit is based on financial need.
- Parents' DIC is payable to some surviving parents. The benefit is based on financial need.
- Veterans Affairs Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA) shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans.
A spouse's survivor benefits plan (SBP) annuity is reduced by any DIC amount received. Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.
Usually an application for DIC benefits is completed by the casualty assistance officer and submitted on behalf of the survivor. Applicants must complete the VA Form 21-534a, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by a Surviving Spouse or Child [PDF] and mail or fax it along with DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty, to the following address:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Regional Office and Insurance Center
P.O. Box 8079
Philadelphia, PA 19101
Fax: (215) 381-3084
Parents' DIC is a monthly benefit amount for the decedent's parents. It is based on income. Applicants should complete a VA Form 21-535, Application for Dependency Indeminity Compensation by Parents [PDF] and mail it to his or her Veterans Affairs regional office:
Washington, DC VA Regional Office
1722 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20421
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA)
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance provides payment of a monthly education or training allowance to the spouse and children of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability. Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of benefits. Upon request, professional, educational and vocational counseling will be provided to eligible children and surviving spouses without charge.
To apply for educational assistance, complete and file the VA Form 22-5490 [PDF].
Home Loan Guaranty
The surviving spouse of a veteran who died in service or as the result of a service-connected disability may be eligible for a guaranteed loan from a private lender. The loan may be used to purchase, construct or improve a home; to purchase a manufactured home and/or lot, or to refinance existing mortgages or other liens of record on a dwelling owned and occupied by the surviving spouse as his or her home. There is no time limit to use this benefit.
To apply for a Veteran Affairs Home Loan Guaranty, complete VA Form 26-1817, Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility [PDF] and submit it to the following:
Veterans Affairs Loan Eligibility Center
P.O. Box 20729
Winston-Salem, NC 27120
Toll free: 1(888) 244-6711
Bereavement Counseling is now offered to parents, spouses and children of armed forces personnel who died in the service of their country. Family members of reservists and National Guardsmen who died while on duty are eligible for counseling.
Helpful Links for Survivors
Learn more about survivor benefits and support organizations.
|Organization Link||Phone Number|
|Office of Personnel Management (OPM)||(800) 767-6738|
|American Gold Star Mothers||(202) 265-0991|
|Gold Star Wives of America||(888) 751-6350|
|Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)||(800) 959-8277|
|US Department of Veterans Affairs Survivor Benefits||(800) 827-1000|