The Department of Veterans Affairs provides compensation of monthly benefits to veterans in recognition of the effects of disabilities, diseases, or injuries suffered or aggravated during military service. The program also provides monthly payments to surviving spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents.

The three most common forms of disability among veterans are:

  1. Disability
    According to the VA, disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected. Details regarding the online application process are available here.

    Veterans may also print and mail the application, VA Form 21-526EZ, or call the VA at 1 (800) 827 1000 to have the form mailed to them.
  2. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
    DIC is a tax-free benefit payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of veterans who died from service-connected disabilities.

    More information regarding eligibility for dependency and indemnity compensation can be found here.
  3. Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
    SMC is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. The calculation tables associated with the special monthly compensation benefit can be found here.


The Department of Veterans Affairs offers two pension benefit programs, for veterans and for their survivors.

  1. Veterans

The VA helps veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the veterans pension benefit. Veterans pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime veterans.

  1. Survivors

The survivors pension benefit, which may also be referred to as death pension, is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income, un-remarried surviving spouses, and/or unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime service.

The pension eligibility outline can be found here.

Intent to File

The VA has an online portal veterans can use to file a claim through eBenefits or through the VA portal.

Veterans who prefer not to file a claim online may fill out this form and turn it in at the nearest benefits office.