Parents whose child died in-service or from a service-related injury or disease, may be entitled as dependents on the veterans compensation award or to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which is a monthly cash assistance benefit. Basic information about the program is provided on this VA Fact Sheet.
The benefit is based on financial need and the parents must meet low-income limits established by law. The current limits can be found here.
Parents may be biological, step, adopted, or serving as parents ("in loco parentis") to the individual who died.
To apply for Surviving Parents DIC, download and complete VA Form 21-535. You may file the appropriate forms yourself or get help from an accredited Veterans Service Officer who will likely work for a Veterans Service Organization or a State Veterans Service Office. You are not allowed to pay anyone to represent you at this stage of the process.
If you aren't comfortable using the fillable form, you may print out a copy to complete in ink and mail it to VA. If your computer refuses to cooperate, go to any VA facility such as a regional office, VA medical center or clinic and they will give you the form. Or call 1-800-827-1000 to ask that a form be mailed to you.
After you've finished the form, mail it to the VA Regional Office that will serve you. Keep a copy for your files.
Last updated May 2018