If you are a dependent spouse or child, or the surviving spouse or child of a veteran, you could qualify for Chapter 35 benefits through one of two GI Bill programs. The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship is for children and spouses of active-duty service members or members of the Selected Reserve who died as a result of a service-connected action on or after September 11, 2001.
Furthermore, the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program is for qualified dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, or who died, as a result of a service-related condition. The DEA also applies to dependents of servicemembers who died during their active duty service.
Both programs offer funding toward education and training such as college or graduate degree programs, career-training certificate courses, apprenticeships, or educational and career counseling. In addition, both courses offer money for tuition, housing, and books and supplies if you are enrolled in a college or graduate degree program.
The DEA program in particular provides 45 months of education and training benefits, and certain remedial or refresher courses can be covered as well. This program pays a benefit stipend on a monthly basis directly to the student and is allocated based on the number of credit hours taken.
In order for his or her dependents to be eligible, a veteran must full under of the following categories:
If a former servicemember does not meet these criteria, his or her dependents might still qualify for VA education benefits if the veteran gave them some or all of his or her Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement while on active duty.
If you are the child of a servicemember or veteran, you could receive benefits between the ages of 18 and 26, but if you join the military, you cannot use these benefits while on active duty.
If you are the spouse of a servicemember or veteran, your benefits will last 10 years and begin on the date of your spouse’s death or on the date that the VA determines you are qualified. However, if the veteran is considered to be permanently and totally disabled, or if the servicemember died while on active duty, you can receive benefits for 20 years.
Knowing whether you are eligible for Chapter 35 education benefits and understanding the process of obtaining those benefits can be complicated. We focus on veterans’ rights and understand how confusing the system can be. Reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, with any questions or concerns you may have about your rights or potential benefits today.