38 CFR § 3.5 - Dependency and indemnity compensation.
(a) Dependency and indemnity compensation. This term means a monthly payment made by the Department of Veterans Affairs to a surviving spouse, child, or parent:
(1) Because of a service-connected death occurring after December 31, 1956, or
(2) Pursuant to the election of a surviving spouse, child, or parent, in the case of such a death occurring before January 1, 1957.
(b) Entitlement. Basic entitlement for a surviving spouse, child or children, and parent or parents of a veteran exists, if:
(1) Death occurred on or after January 1, 1957, except in the situation specified in § 3.4(c)(2); or
(2) Death occurred prior to January 1, 1957, and the claimant was receiving or eligible to receive death compensation on December 31, 1956 (or, as to a parent, would have been eligible except for income), under laws in effect on that date or who subsequently becomes eligible by reason of a death which occurred prior to January 1, 1957; or
(3) Death occurred on or after May 1, 1957, and before January 1, 1972, and the claimant had been ineligible to receive dependency and indemnity compensation because of the exception in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph. In such case dependency and indemnity compensation is payable upon election.
(c) Exclusiveness of remedy. No person eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation by reason of a death occurring on or after January 1, 1957, shall be eligible by reason of such death for death pension or compensation under any other law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, except that, effective November 2, 1994, a surviving spouse who is receiving dependency and indemnity compensation may elect to receive death pension instead of such compensation.
(d) Group life insurance. No dependency and indemnity compensation or death compensation shall be paid to any surviving spouse, child or parent based on the death of a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Environmental Science Services Administration, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration occuring on or after May 1, 1957, if any amounts are payable under the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 (Pub. L. 598, 83d Cong., as amended) based on the same death.