Survivor Benefits

The Arapahoe County Veterans Service Office can assist Arapahoe County survivors with filing for survivor benefits. There is no fee for this service. There are two survivor benefits:
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: for a service-connected death
  • Survivors Pension: a needs-based benefit for which eligibility is based on income, assets and medical expenses of the surviving spouse

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation


Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of:
  • A military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
  • A veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR
  • A 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 Sept. 30, 1999.

Surviving Spouse Eligibility


The surviving spouse is eligible for benefits if he or she:
  • Cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, and is not currently remarried.
  • Had a child with the veteran.
  • 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.
  • Validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957.
  • Was married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
  • Was married to the veteran for at least one year.
A surviving spouse who remarries on or after Dec.16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.

Surviving Child Eligibility


The surviving child or children is eligible for benefits if he/she is:
  • Not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC
  • Unmarried
  • Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.
Certain helpless and dependent children may be entitled to DIC.

Survivors Pension


Survivors Pension is an needs-based benefit paid to a surviving spouse who has not remarried, or an unmarried child of a deceased wartime veteran.

Eligible Members


The surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran may receive benefits if:
  • Their net worth and countable income is below a yearly limit set by law. (The yearly limit on income is set by Congress).
  • The deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.
  • The deceased veteran served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a war time period. If he or she entered active duty after Sept. 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty.(There are exceptions to this rule.)
Please contact the Arapahoe County Veterans Service Office for more information. We will help you gather all necessary forms and evidence for your claim and assist you in the claims process for survivor benefits.