Veterans who have served their country want to know that their children and dependents are provided for. The VA offers a way to do this through different education benefits for qualifying survivors and dependents of veterans. These benefits include numerous resources to help pay for education. If you’re a veteran, or the survivor or dependent of one, it pays to look into these programs. A New Orleans veterans disability benefits attorney can help you apply for and receive these benefits.
Education benefits for survivors and dependents of veterans – also known as Chapter 35 benefits – have certain eligibility requirements. The beneficiary must be a child or spouse of a veteran, and one of the following must apply:
The service member:
- Died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001
- Was captured in the line of duty or is missing in action
- Was detained in the line of duty by a foreign government or power
- Is in the hospital, or receiving treatment, for a service-connected permanent and total disability, and is likely to be discharged
Note that these criteria apply to children and spouses of service members. There are different requirements for children and spouses of veterans. One of the following must apply:
- Is permanently and totally disabled because of a service-connected disability
- Died while on active duty, or as a result of, a service-connected disability
Not all veterans’ dependents will meet these requirements. Those who don’t, however, may still be eligible for VA education benefits. This concerns veterans and service members who transferred their post-9/11 GI Bill entitlements to their dependents while on active duty. If you have questions about VA education or GI Bill benefits, consult a knowledgeable New Orleans veterans disability benefits attorney.
The benefits available to qualifying dependents include:
- Education and training
- Money for tuition
- Money for housing
- Money for school books and supplies
To receive these benefits, the dependent must apply for them. There are two main programs that offer resources to qualifying children and spouses of veterans:
- The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship). This is for children and spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.
- The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. DEA offers education and training to qualified veterans’ dependents who are permanently and totally disabled because of a service-related condition. It is also available to veterans’ dependents who died during active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.
It is possible to qualify for both programs. However, you can only apply for one. In fact, once you select one program, you cannot switch to the other one. If you have questions about which program is best for you, talk to a New Orleans veterans attorney. The DEA and Fry Scholarship have different benefits that are worth considering before applying. The two programs differ with respect to:
- The amount of money available, and for what (e.g. educational supplies)
- The duration of benefits for spouses and children of veterans
- The maximum number of months of benefits
- The programs that are covered (e.g. college, apprenticeships, etc.)
Note that it can take between eight and ten weeks to process your application for Chapter 35 benefits. To make sure you qualify, and that you apply in time, talk to a New Orleans veterans disability attorney. We can review the programs with you and help you apply.
Helping Veterans and Their Dependents Get the Support They Need
The team at Ascend Disability Lawyers, LLC, is ready to help with your benefits application today. We have experience with numerous VA programs for veterans and their dependents. Our disability benefits law firm understands the importance of providing for those you care about. We will partner with you to help them get the support they need. Give us a call today and find out how we can help you.