Relatives of deceased North Carolina veterans might be eligible for dependent and indemnity compensation, retroactive disability compensation or death pension benefits. To receive benefits from any of these programs, family members must meet strict qualifications set by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which administers the programs.
A surviving spouse or child is eligible to receive dependent and indemnity compensation upon a veteran's death under certain circumstances. This benefit applies to veterans who have pending disability claims on file with the VA at their time of death. For the disability claim to be approved, the deceased veteran must be declared 100-percent disabled due to his service-related injury. Spouses can apply for DIC benefits if married to the deceased for one year prior to death or if they had a child together while married. Spouses over age 57 who remarry retain DIC eligibility for ex-spouse benefits.
Unmarried children under the age of 18 and children in college under 23 years of age are eligible for DIC benefits. Surviving spouses and children can apply for retroactive disability compensation, which is a cash payment of accrued back pay benefits never received by the deceased. To receive death pension benefits, family survivors must meet low-income requirements, and these benefits are extended to unmarried persons. Children under the age of 18 are eligible for this benefit, but spouses who remarry lose eligibility.