Am I Eligible for VA Educational Benefits?

Whether you are a veteran with dependents or the dependent of a veteran, knowing your eligibility for educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is especially important as the time for college visits rolls around. Being aware of your eligibility and the benefits you are entitled to could help you navigate some of those big college decisions. Continue reading to learn more about educational benefits and how the VA can assist you with the financial aspect of higher education.

What Benefits am I Entitled to Receive from the VA?

VA education benefits for dependents and survivors of veterans are also known as “Chapter 35” benefits. If you are the dependent child or spouse of a veteran, you may be eligible to receive Chapter 35 benefits through a GI Bill program. Potential benefits include education and training, money for tuition and housing, and money for books and supplies.

Eligibility for Educational Benefits

Eligibility requirements differ between dependents of servicemembers and dependents of veterans, so here is the run-down of what qualifies you for each.

For an active servicemember’s dependents to be eligible for Chapter 35 benefits, he or she must:

  • Have died in the line of duty following September 10, 2001;
  • Be missing in action or in the custody of a hostile force;
  • Have been detained by force by a foreign government or power while on duty; or
  • Be receiving treatment at a hospital for a service-related disability that is total and permanent in nature, and will likely be discharged from service for that disability.

For a veteran’s dependents to be eligible for Chapter 35 benefits, the former servicemember must be permanently and totally disabled or meet one of the requirements above.

If your loved one does not meet any of these criteria, you may still be able to receive VA educational benefits if you are currently receiving transferred benefits. Some veterans or servicemembers are able to transfer GI bill benefits to family members. If you are a recipient of transferred benefits, you may be eligible to receive educational benefits from the VA.

Ask an Attorney whether You Might be Eligible for VA Educational Benefits

To receive education benefits from the VA, you will need to apply online through the VA’s website. It is possible that to qualify for both the Fry Scholarship and the DEA program, which are the two main GI Bill programs that offer assistance to dependents of veterans.

However, you can only use one of these programs, even if you qualify for both, so be sure to discuss the benefits of each with an attorney before deciding which one is right for you. Call our firm for more insight on whether you might be eligible for VA educational benefits.

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