Dependent and Survivor's Rights

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Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of:

  • Service members who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
  • Veterans who died from service-related disabilities, OR
  • Certain veterans who were being paid 100% VA disability compensation at the time of death.

Death Pensions

Death Pension is a needs based benefit paid to an unremarried surviving spouse, or an unmarried child of a deceased wartime veteran.

You may be eligible if:

  • The deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
  • The deceased veteran served at least 90 days of active military service, 1 day of which was during a wartime period. If he or she entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. (There are exceptions to this rule.) AND
  • You are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND
  • Your countable income is below a yearly limit set by law (The yearly limit on income is set by Congress).

An unremarried spouse can be of any age and a child must be under 18, or in school and under 23, or was incapable of self support before the age of 18.

VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA)

Shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans. To be eligible for CHAMPVA, you cannot be eligible for TRICARE/CHAMPUS and you must be in one of these categories:

  1. The spouse or child of a veteran who has been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office, or
  2. The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who died from a VA-rated service connected disability, or
  3. The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who was at the time death rated permanently and totally disabled from a service connected disability, or
  4. The surviving spouse or child of a military member who died in the line of duty, not due to misconduct (in most of these cases, these family members are eligible for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).

An eligible CHAMPVA sponsor may be entitled to receive medical care through the VA health care system based on his or her own veteran status. Additionally, as the result of a recent policy change, if the eligible CHAMPVA sponsor is the spouse of another eligible CHAMPVA sponsor, both may now be eligible for CHAMPVA benefits. In each instance where the eligible spouse requires medical attention, he or she may choose the VA health care system or coverage under CHAMPVA for his/her health care needs.

For questions regarding these benefits, please contact our office at (914) 377-6700.