Veteran Education Benefits Overview

MGIB-SR (CHAPTER 1606)

The MGIB-SR benefit may be available to anyone who is currently fulfilling a 6-year obligation to a branch of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserve, in addition to the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. You must have completed initial active duty training (IADT) and remain in good standing while serving. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of full time education benefits. Your eligibility for the program normally ends the day you leave the Selected Reserve. 

   

REAP (CHAPTER 1607)

Reserve Education Assistance Program provides educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency declared by the president or Congress.

   

MGIB (CHAPTER 30)

The MGIB-AD benefit may be available to Servicemembers who have at least two years of active duty and contributed money to their GI Bill®. This benefit provides up to 36 months of educational benefits and is generally payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. 

   

POST 9/11 (CHAPTER 33)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. This benefit provides up to 36 months of full time educational benefits and is generally payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. Based on the length of service, eligible individuals are entitled to a percentage of the benefit. This benefit offers some Servicemembers the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to their dependents.  **If the Veteran discharged on or after January 1, 2013, then they fall under the Forever GI Bill® and the 15-year time limit is eliminated.

   

TRANSFER POST 9/11 GI BILL TO SPOUSE AND DEPENDENTS

 

The transferability option under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® allows eligible Servicemembers to transfer all 36 months or a portion of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits (unless DoD or the Department of Homeland Security has limited the number of transferable months). The Department of Defense (DoD) determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. Upon approval, family members may apply to use transferred benefits with VA by completing the VA Form 22-1990e. VA Form 22-1990e should only be completed and submitted to the VA by the family member after DoD has approved the request of the transfer of education benefits. If you're eligible, you may transfer benefits to the following individuals:

  • Your spouse
  • One or more of your children
  • Any combination of spouse and child

 

The option to transfer is open to any member of the armed forces active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, and meets the following criteria:

  • Has at least six years of service in the armed forces (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of approval and agrees to serve four additional years in the armed forces from the date of election.
  • Has at least 10 years of service in the armed forces (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of approval, is precluded by either standard policy (by Service Branch or DoD) or statute from committing to four additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.
  • *As of August 1, 2018, GI Bill® benefit must be transferred between six and 16 years of service, or lose out.*
  • Transfer requests are submitted and approved while the member is in the armed forces.

 

 Spouses:

  • May start to use the benefit immediately
  • May use while the Servicemember remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
  • Are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance while the member is on active duty
  • Can use for up to 15 years after the Servicemembers last separation from active duty

 

Children:

  • May start to use the benefit only after the Servicemember has completed at least 10 years of service
  • May use while the Servicemember remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
  • May not use until he/she has attained a secondary school diploma or has reached age 18
  • Is entitled to the monthly housing allowance stipend even though the Servicemember is on active duty
  • Is not subject to the 15-year delimiting date, but may not use the benefit after reaching 26 years of age
   

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (CHAPTER 31)

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services may be available to those Servicemembers with a service-connected disability. Upon approval, you must meet with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor who will help to select a plan to address your educational needs.

   

DEA (CHAPTER 35)

Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) program may be available to anyone that is a child (between ages 18 and 26, with some exceptions) or spouse of a Veteran who is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition; or who died in service; or who died of a service-connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA. **As of August 1, 2018, maximum months of benefits have been reduced from 45 months to 36 months.  If benefit was used prior to August 1, 2018, then dependent is still eligible for 45 months of benefit.

   

FRY SCHOLARSHIP

Children and surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 can receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level.

Children:

  • A child may begin an approved program of education before the age of 18.
  • Eligibility ends on the child's 33rd birthday.  **If first eligible after Jan. 1, 2013, then no time limit to use Fry Scholarship benefit**
  • A child's marital status has no effect on eligibility.

 

Surviving spouse:   

  • A surviving spouse can receive benefits for terms beginning on or after January 1, 2015. Training prior to January 1, 2015, is not eligible to receive benefits under Section 701.
  • Has 15 years from the date of the Servicemember's death to utilize benefits. **If first eligible after Jan. 1, 2013, then no time limit to use Fry Scholarship benefit**
  • If a spouse remarries, benefits end the date of the remarriage.

 

Some dependents currently eligible for or already receiving benefits under the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program, may now be eligible for the Fry Scholarship. In most situations, beneficiaries are not able to use the same qualifying event for more than one benefit and may be required to make an irrevocable election between the DEA program and Fry Scholarship.

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CAL VET FEE WAIVER

 

The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of Veterans may be eligible.

 

Plan A

 

  • The unmarried child of a Veteran who is totally disabled due to service-connected disabilities or whose death was officially rated as service-connected is eligible. The child must be over 14 years old and under 27 years old to be eligible. If the child is a Veteran, then the age limit is extended to age 30;
  • The spouse of a wartime Veteran who has been rated as service-connected totally disabled is eligible. There are no age limit restrictions;
  • The unmarried surviving spouse of a wartime Veteran whose death has been rated as service-connected is eligible. There are no age limit restrictions;
  • Any dependent of any Veteran who has been declared missing in action, captured in the line of duty by hostile forces, or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power is eligible.

 

The Veteran must have served at least one day of active duty during a period of war as declared by the U.S. Congress, or during any time in which the Veteran was awarded a campaign or expeditionary medal. Concurrent receipt of benefits under Plan A and VA Chapter 35 benefits is prohibited. To receive benefits under Plan A, a dependent must sign an "Election To Receive College Waiver Benefits" statement acknowledging this fact. There are no income restrictions under this plan. To be eligible, the event which caused basic entitlement to benefits (i.e., the date the Veteran died of service-connected causes or the date the military or United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) rated the Veteran as totally disabled as a result of service-connected disabilities) must have occurred prior to the child's 21st birthday.

 

Plan B

 

The child of a Veteran who has a service-connected disability, or had a service-connected disability at the time of death, or died of service-related causes is eligible. The child's annual income, which includes the child's adjusted gross income, plus the value of support provided by a parent, may not exceed the annual income limit. The current academic year entitlement is based upon the previous calendar year's annual income. Under Plan B, wartime service is not required and there are no specific age requirements. Children are the only dependents eligible under this plan. There is no prohibition against receiving concurrent VA Chapter 35 benefits.

 

Plan C

 

Any dependent of any member of the California National Guard, who in the line of duty while on active service to the state, was killed, died of a disability resulting from an event that occurred while in active service to the state, or is permanently disabled as a result of an event that occurred while in the service to the state is eligible. Surviving spouses who have not remarried are also eligible.

 

"Active service to the state," for the purpose of this benefit, means a member of the California National Guard activated pursuant to Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code. A copy of those orders pursuant to Section 146, not Section 143, must be furnished to establish eligibility.

 

Plan D

 

Medal of Honor recipients and children of Medal of Honor recipients under the age of 27 may qualify. Benefits under Plan D are limited to undergraduate studies only, and applicants are subject to both income and age restrictions. There is no prohibition against receiving concurrent VA Chapter 35 benefits.

 

 

 ‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill."