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Take Action: Increase Benefits for Veterans' Survivors
Taking care of survivors honors the commitment made to our veterans and military members. Survivors may be eligible for certain VA benefits and services, but improvements are needed for those left behind to assist them in rebuilding their lives.

The cornerstone of VA assistance is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), a monthly, tax-free cash payment of $1,437.66 (base rate) for eligible surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents. Since being established nearly 30 years ago, DIC has seen minimal increases. As a result, rates have failed to keep up with the cost of living and fallen short of what other federal employees’ survivors receive. In addition, many veterans pass away from non-service-connected conditions before meeting the DIC eligibility period, which leaves their families with nothing.

 

PVA Position
Congress needs to pass H.R. 3402/S. 976, the Caring for Survivors Act of 2021, which would raise the monthly amount of DIC to 55 percent of the rate of monthly compensation received by a totally disabled veteran. It also seeks to expand eligibility for DIC by replacing the current 10-year rule with a graduated scale of benefits that provides 50 percent of the full benefit beginning at five years and gradually reaches the full benefit level at ten years after determination of disability.

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