When a veteran passes away, it is a tragic loss for family members. It is vital for the members of the surviving family to know that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may owe them specific benefits due to the deceased veteran’s service.
The Department of Veterans Affairs defines the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) as “a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of veterans who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of veterans whose death resulted from service-related conditions.”
Certain family members of a deceased veteran are often qualified to receive DIC payments. Eligible surviving family members usually include the veteran’s surviving spouse and dependents. The VA states that one of the following conditions should be met to qualify for DIC benefits:
As of December 2017, VA’s dependency and indemnity compensation rate is $1,283.11 monthly and is paid out tax-free to the veteran’s eligible surviving family members. Additional compensation rates can be found on the VA website.
You are considered a surviving spouse if you meet the following conditions:
Surviving children may be eligible if they are not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC, they are single, under 18, or attending school and between the ages of 18-23.
While you are not required to have a lawyer to file a DIC claim, it is a good idea to have legal counsel on your side. Surviving spouses and children are often denied DIC benefits due to a mistake by the VA, or the claim is denied because the VA determined that the veteran’s death was not related to his or her military service.
If your DIC claim is denied, you may need the experienced VA benefits lawyers at Berry Law to help you file an appeal. We handle DIC benefits claims related to combat injuries, traumatic brain injuries, vehicle accidents, chemical exposure, infectious illnesses, and other service-related conditions that may have caused your loved one’s death.
Our legal team can collect evidence to prove your loved one had a service-connected condition that contributed to his or her death. We will represent you and fight for your interests every step of the way, including appeals to the Regional Office, the Board of Veterans Appeals, and the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims.
Let us help you get the DIC benefits you deserve. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.
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