VA Survivor Benefits For Educational And Training Programs

VA Survivor Benefits For Educational And Training Programs

In addition to helping Veterans and active duty members transition into civilian lifestyle, the US Department of Veterans Affairs also offers some astounding VA survivor benefits to deceased veterans’ spouses and family members.

While Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is the most known of all benefits, VA’s educational and training programs are as revolutionary as any other benefit.


Available to surviving spouses and dependents, VA’s educational program or technically known as Chapter 35 benefits offers job training and educational programs. These programs are available under the GI Bill Program.


An applicant is eligible for VA survivor benefits for Chapter 35 if they are the spouse or a child of a military member and the sponsor is able to meet EITHER of the following requirements-

  1. He/she died while rendering his/her services to the department, OR
  2. He/she went MIA or was held forcefully by hostile forces, OR
  3. He/she was captured by a foreign government while on-duty, OR
  4. He/she is hospitalized for suffering from a total and permanent disability, which emerged while being on-duty

In case your sponsor is/was a Veteran and you are the surviving spouse or child of that Veteran, you will only be considered eligible if your sponsor meets any ONE of the following parameters.

  1. The Veteran suffers from a service-related permanent disability, OR
  2. The Veteran died on-duty or from a service-related disability.


VA survivor benefits under Chapter 35 are divided into two different programs.

  • Fry Scholarship or The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David
  • DEA or The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program.

Survivors and dependents whose sponsor died while on service after 2001, September 10, are eligible for Fry Scholarship. However, if your sponsor suffers from a service-related disability or died while in line of duty from a service-related injury/disability, you will be eligible for the DEA program.

To apply for these VA survivor benefits, you will need the following documents-

  • Bank account direct deposit information
  • Social security number
  • Documents validating your sponsor’s military history
  • Documents validating your educational history

To apply via mail, you will be required to call 888-442-4551 and request application documents from the office. All you need to do is fill it out and mail it to the VA claims office, nearest to your school.

You can also apply by going directly to the VA’s regional office and getting in touch with an official or can connect with a professional who can give a better insight into all the information and benefits available for you.

It takes an average of 30 days to process your educational claims and get started with your VA survivor benefits.

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