Program Description

Parents' dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) is a needs-based benefit paid to parents (biological, adoptive, or foster) who were financially dependent on a military Servicemember or Veteran who died from a service-related cause. The foster parent relationship must have been in place for at least one year before the Veteran last entered active duty and prior to the Veteran's 21st birthday. The one-year period may end after the Veteran’s 21st birthday, as long as it begins before the Veteran’s 21st birthday, and lasts at least one continuous year.

General Program Requirements

To qualify, you must be the parent(s) of a military Servicemember or Veteran who died from one of the following causes:

  • A disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training, OR
  • An injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or certain diseases incurred while on inactive duty for training, OR
  • A service-connected disability.

Income limits apply.

In addition, unreimbursed medical expenses that have been paid may help to reduce his or her countable income.

For more specific information, refer to the Parents' DIC factsheet.

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Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

You may apply for Parents' DIC by completing a VA Form 21-535, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation by Parent(s) (Including Accrued Benefits and Death Compensation when Applicable), and mailing it to the Pension Management Center (PMC) regional office having jurisdictions over your claim. If you do not know which PMC has jurisdiction over your claim, you may submit your request to the VA regional office closest to your residence.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions:

To apply for additional benefits and view your benefit status, open an eBenefits Premium account. eBenefits is a one-stop source for information on VA benefits and services. With a free Premium level eBenefits account, Veterans, Servicemembers and their family members can conduct self-service transactions such as checking claim status information, GI Bill enrollment, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, DD Form 214, and other personal information. For further information and to register for a free Premium level account, visit the eBenefits website.