surviving spouse benefits

Are “Surviving Spouses” Eligible for VA Benefits?

If you are the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, you may be eligible for certain cash benefits. Specifically, you may be eligible for what is known as dependency and indemnity compensation (“DIC”) benefits. DIC benefits are available to surviving spouses of service members who died from service-connected disabilities or had a 100% disability rating prior to death. Below is an overview of DIC benefits for surviving spouses. For additional information about DIC benefits for surviving military spouses, please contact our Michigan veterans benefits attorneys.

Eligibility for DIC benefits

If you are a surviving military spouse, you may be eligible for DIC benefits if your spouse:

  • Died while on active duty (or inactive duty for training),
  • From a disability that was connected to his or her service, OR
  • While eligible for or receiving disability compensation for a totally disabling condition for between one and ten years, depending on the circumstances.

In addition to the above conditions, you must also meet the following requirements:

  • You married your spouse at least one year prior to his or her death,
  • You lived with your spouse without any separations until he or she died (some exceptions may apply), 
  • Your spouse must have died from a disability that was connected to his or her service if you were married within 15 years of discharge from the period of service that caused the disability, OR
  • You had a child with your spouse, OR
  • Your spouse died while he or she was on active duty (or inactive duty for training).

DIC benefits for surviving spouses who remarry

If you are a surviving spouse who has remarried, you may be ineligible for DIC benefits. However, your eligibility depends on the date you remarried and your age on the date of your remarriage. If you remarried after age 57, you remain eligible for DIC if you also meet the requirements above. If you remarried before you turned 57, you aren’t eligible for DIC benefits unless you were married before December 16, 2003.

Contact an attorney to determine your eligibility for DIC benefits

Given all of the requirements and exceptions discussed above, it can be difficult to determine if you’re eligible for DIC benefits without legal assistance. Therefore, if you’d like to determine your eligibility for surviving spouse DIC benefits, you need Disability Law Group on your side. At Disability Law Group, our Michigan veterans benefits attorneys are here to help you obtain the benefits you deserve. We respect our veterans and their families, and we’re committed to assisting you with every step of the veterans disability benefits process. If you live in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County, or elsewhere in Michigan and would like to apply for DIC benefits, we’re here to help. At Disability Law Group, disability is all we do. Please contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.