On October 19, 2017, Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, introduced S. 1990, the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act of 2017.
This bill would increase dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for surviving dependents and would lower the threshold of eligibility to allow certain survivors to receive this benefit who currently do not meet the requirements. This measure would:
Increases DIC so that the base rate is equal to 55 percent of the rate of compensation paid to a totally disabled veteran, making it more equitable with rates provided to federal civilian employee survivors.
Ease the 10 year rule for eligibility and replace it with a graduated scale of benefits that begins after 5 years and increases by percentage until reaching the full amount at the 10 year mark. If a veteran is rated as totally disabled for five years and dies as a result of a non-service-connected cause, a survivor would be entitled to 50 percent of total DIC benefits. This scale continues until the 10-year threshold and the maximum DIC amount is awarded.
Reduce the age allowed for a surviving spouse to remarry and maintain their benefits from 57 to 55, consistent with other Federal survivor benefit programs.
If enacted, this bill would fulfill one of DAV's legislative goals in accordance with Resolution No. 036 that was approved by our members during our most recent National Convention. Please use the prepared e-mail or draft your own message to request that your Senators support this important legislation.
Thank you for all you do for ill and injured veterans and their families.
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