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Education Benefits for Veterans

The US recognizes the active duty service that veterans have fulfilled. This acknowledgment comes from various financial aid benefits, including health and education. The GI bill of the US explicitly states the benefits veterans can avail of.

While other benefits are equally important, let’s focus on VA education benefits. These are the things that you need to know about VA education benefits.

What do VA education benefits cover?

As implied, these benefits relate to schooling and general education. Such benefits may cover the following. 

  • Tuition assistance

  • Military tuition assistance (for those serving as a national guard or as part of the selected reserve) 

  • Training and education

  • Vocational rehabilitation

  • Financial aid for books and other supplies

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is in charge of assessing and providing these veteran education benefits in line with the GI bill.

While these veteran services are specially meant for veterans, how about the dependents and survivors of the veteran?

Are survivors and dependents eligible to receive VA education benefits?

The US Department of Veteran Affairs or Veteran Administration offers educational assistance to dependents and survivors. However, they have criteria for eligibility that these dependents and survivors must first meet. 

If you are a survivor or dependent of a veteran who has previously served active duty, know that you are subject to eligibility if the following criteria are met. 

For one, you may be eligible for VA education benefits if you are the spouse or child of a veteran service member and if at least one of these conditions is true about the service member you are related to.  

  • The said service member died due to duty-related activities beyond September 10, 2001 

  • The said service member is considered MIA (Missing In Action) or had been held captive due to active duty

  • The said service member got forcefully held or detained due to active duty and by a foreign power or government.

  • The said service member is confined in a hospital or is availing of outpatient services due to a total and permanent disability related to service. This service member may likely be discharged for that disability.

You can also avail of VA education benefits if you are the spouse or child of the veteran and if at least one condition is true about the veteran. 

  • The veteran has a total and permanent disability related to active duty.

  • The veteran died during the period of active duty or because of a disability that is related to service. 

However, suppose you are a dependent or spouse who does not meet any specified conditions. In that case, there is still a chance for you to be eligible for VA education benefits for your primary, secondary, or higher education. Such a case is valid if the service member or veteran transferred all or at least some of their Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement to your name during their active duty.

Are VA education benefits taxable?

Unlike other social security benefits, the VA educational benefit does not require tax. All VI and other payments under the GI bill benefits program are tax-free. This condition applies to the veteran and the veteran’s dependents and survivors. 

Any other tips or things to keep in mind?

  • You need to apply for educational benefits. There is a standard process that you must undergo to claim these benefits. You can check the US Department of Veteran Affairs’ official website. 

  • Veterans can avail of educational benefits from the Federal Student Aid. Federal Student Aid is considered the largest financial provider for college education in the United States. They offer special benefits for veterans. 

  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs also offers Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E). This program is formerly called vocational rehabilitation. It aims to help veterans with issues such as education, job training, employment accommodation, job-seeking skills, and resume crafting. 

  • Veterans can also avail of educational and career counseling. This service can be accessed by close completers of active service, those discharged during the past year, and those veterans or dependents eligible for educational benefits. 

  • Dependents and survivors can avail of educational benefits under the DEA or FRY program. Both scholarship programs have different eligibility standards and offer. You can check the US Department of Veteran Affairs’ website to know more. 

  • Your eligibility is not automatic. The Veterans Administration will scrutinize your application before declaring eligibility. There is a possibility, however, that claims and applications could be denied. 

How Trajector helps me

We at Trajector can help you process your application and claims for VA educational benefits. Our team can serve as your legal representative and help you ensure that your requirements and application will have higher chances of success. 

Whether you need help in claiming health, disability, or educational benefits, Trajector can help you. Contact us to know how we can help with your case.