For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.

No amount of money can wash away the grief and sorrow that comes with the loss of a loved one, veteran or nonveteran. Their presence can never, ever be replaced. However, if your late loved one was a service member, and was killed in the line or duty or succumbed to an illness or injury that was directly connected to their service, they may be able to posthumously pass along something via the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) monetarily that can help pay bills and other expenses that are inevitable in life.

It’s a tax-free benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and surviving spouses, children and parents may be eligible to receive it.

Here are the qualifications surrounding each special situation …

For a Surviving Spouse

You’re eligible for it if any one of these scenarios apply to you:

– You married the veteran before January 1, 1957, or within 15 years of their leaving the military

– Married to the veteran for at least one year

– You had a child with the veteran, aren’t currently remarried, and either lived with the veteran without a break until the veteran’s death or, if separated, weren’t at fault for the separation

For a Surviving Child

You’re eligible if any one of these scenarios apply to you:

– You’re under the age of 18 (or under the age of 23 if you’re attending college)

– You were adopted out of the veteran’s family

For a Surviving Parent

– Your child was a service member who died in the line of duty or from an illness or injury related to their service

– Your income is below an amount outlined in this rate table


To apply for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for any of the situations detailed above, go here. There’s a link to a form for each (it also gives the option to get help from an accredited representative or from a VA employee at a VA Regional Office).

Click here to learn about how G.I. Bill benefits can be passed along to a family member.

If you’re a veteran and you want to check the status of your G.I. Bill benefits, you can do so here.