Ask a Service Officer: Spouse compensation

Q. Will my spouse still receive money from VA when I pass away?  

A.The money that is currently paid to the veteran for either VA Pension or VA Compensation will not continue. However, there may be an entitlement for the surviving spouse or dependent based on the service of the veteran. See below to determine eligibility for VA programs that result in monetary gain.

Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors if his or her spouse was one of the following:

  • Military servicemember who died while on active duty.
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
  • Veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling
    • for at least 10 years immediately before death, or
    • since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, or
    • for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

The surviving spouse is eligible for DIC if he or she meets one of the following requirements:

  • Validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957.
  • Married to a servicemember who died on active duty.
  • Married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran’s death began or was aggravated.
  • Married to the veteran for at least one year.
  • Had a child with the veteran and cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death.
  • If separated, was not at fault for the separation and is not currently remarried.

Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC. The surviving child(ren), if he/she is not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC unmarried and under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school. Note: Certain helpless adult children are entitled.