Education Benefits

Qualifying spouses and children of particular veterans are eligible for the Survivors’ & Dependents’ Educational Assistance education benefit. In order for individuals to receive this benefit, the military veteran does not have to be deceased.

Those that qualify can collect up to 45 months of full-time or comparable benefits for:

  • College, business, technical, or vocational courses; high school diploma or GED; independent study, or distance learning courses
  • Correspondence courses are available for spouses; apprenticeship or on-the-job training
  • Remedial, deficiency, and refresher training for particular situations
  • Test, license, or certification costs required to obtain, maintain, or expand in an employment positon

Individuals are eligible for the education program provided they are a son or daughter of:

  • A veteran rated by the VA with 100 percent service-related disability.
  • A veteran who died from any cause during the existence of a service-related disability.
  • A service member missing in action or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force.
  • A service member detained against their will or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A service member who is hospitalized or getting outpatient treatment for a service-related disability rated as 100 percent permanent disability and is apt to be discharged for the disability.

Individuals, after finding a program approved for VA training, are required to complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance. VA Form 22-5490 is available at any VA regional office or online at www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-5490-ARE.pdf.

Mail the completed form to the appropriate VA regional office serving the state from which the individual will train.

VA payment

The type of training program and whether the individual trains full time or part time is what the VA bases its payment amount from. Individuals get 45 months of full-time benefits and 90 months of half-time benefits.

Full time refers to taking at least 12 credit hours in a term (24 hours per week). Three-quarters time refers to at least 9 credit hours in a term (18 hours per week). Half time refers to at least 6 credit hours in a term (12 hours per week). One-quarter time refers to taking at least 3 credit hours in a term (6 hours per week).

These rates are subject to change October 1 each year. Present rates are available at www.gibill. va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/rates.htm.

Expiration of benefits

Spouses and surviving spouses have ten years from the date the VA authorizes eligibility to use the benefit. Surviving spouses of veterans who died while on active duty have 20 years from the date of the veteran’s decease date to use the benefit. Children can use the benefit while they are between the ages of 18 and 26.

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