This article by Jim Absher first appeared on Military.com, the premier resource for the military and veteran community.
(Updated Dec. 30 to correct SSIA amount)
What Is DIC?
The surviving spouse DIC is a congressionally mandated monthly benefit which is adjusted annually based on the Cost-of-Living.
Under most circumstances, a surviving spouse under 57 years old who remarries [55 years old, as of 2021 legislation] cannot receive DIC. Spouses, however, are eligible for increased benefits if they have children under 18, or if they have a disability themselves that requires living assistance.
Parent DIC is based on the parent's income. Typically, only those parents whose income is below a certain level are eligible.
[RELATED: SBP-DIC Offset Resources]
How Much Is DIC?
The basic monthly tax-free DIC benefit will increase from $1,319.04 in 2019 to $1,340.14 for 2020, with additional amounts also seeing the 1.6% increase.
If the surviving spouse also gets a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payment from the deceased veteran's military service, they may see their SBP payment decrease by the amount of the DIC benefit thanks to federal offset rules. However, there is partial reimbursement of this offset, known as the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA).
The Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA)
The SSIA will be paid to surviving spouses who have their SBP payments decreased by the amount of their DIC payments.
The SBP and SSIA are taxable income, while the DIC is not. The SSIA amount for 2020 is $323. Like DIC, it increases each year based on the annual cost-of-living adjustment.
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