The old adage “other agencies may take care of a Veteran’s family, but the VA only takes care of the Veteran” is only partially true. In certain circumstances, family members, dependents, and survivors of Veterans may be entitled federal VA benefits. These benefits may include an increase to the Veteran’s disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), death compensation (including Accrued, Substitution, and Non-negotiated Benefits), educational and training assistance (DEA), health care, VA home loans and housing-related assistance, and death pension.
If a Veteran has a service-connected disability rated at or greater than 30%, the Veteran’s disability payments will be increased if he or she has a spouse and/or dependents – including biological children, step-children, and eligible parents. These increased payments for children continue until the 18th birthday of children who are not enrolled in an educational institution. If the child enrolls in and attends courses at an educational institution, this compensation may be continued until age 26, as long as the attendance is recorded and sent to the VA. It is the responsibility of the Veteran to record and send to the VA proof of attendance on a VA Form 21-674, and any other pertinent forms, every year. The amount of time it takes the VA to process dependent pay can vary greatly.