Military & Veteran Resource Center

Federal Benefits

Dependent Federal Benefits


Benefit Information

The transferability option under the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows Service members to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The Department of Defense (DoD) determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. Once the DoD approves benefits for transfer, the new beneficiaries apply for them at the Department of Veterans Affairs. To find out more, visit the DoDs website or apply now.

Eligible Service members may transfer all 36 months or the portion of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (unless DoD or the Department of Homeland Security has limited the number of transferable months). 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

Benefits and Eligibility

Family members must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits at the time of transfer to receive transferred benefits.

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.
  • Transfer requests are submitted and approved while the member is in the armed forces.

Upon approval, family members may apply to use transferred benefits with VA by printing, completing, and mailing the VA Form 22-1990e to your nearest VA regional office of applying online. VA Form 22-1990e should only be completed and submitted to VA by the family member after DoD has approved the request for Transfer of Education Benefits. Do not use VA Form 22-1990e to apply for Transfer of Education Benefits.

Benefits

  • Tuition & fees payment to the school
  • monthly housing allowance (MHA)
  • An annual books & supplies stipend
  • A one-time rural benefit payment

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Link for More Useful Information:

https://www.va.gov/education/transfer-post-9-11-gi-bill-benefits/

Apply for education benefits:

https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/1990E/introduction

Benefit Information

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of Service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level. 

Benefits

  • Tuition & fees payment to the school
  • monthly housing allowance (MHA)
  • An annual books & supplies stipend
  • A one-time rural benefit payment

Eligibility 

Children and surviving spouses of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible for this benefit. Children are eligible as of their 18th birthday (unless they have already graduated high school). A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible, although their eligibility ends on their 33rd birthday. A spouse will lose eligibility to this benefit upon remarriage. A spouse has 15 years from the date of death of the Service member to use the benefit.

If you are eligible for both Fry Scholarship and DEA (Dependents Educational Assistance), you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the two programs when you apply. Dependents are not eligible to receive both DEA and the Fry Scholarship based on the same event (like a Service member dying in the line of duty) unless he or she is a child whose parent died prior to August 1, 2011. A child of a parent who died prior to August 1, 2011 may still be eligible for both benefits but he/she may only use one program at a time and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training. In this situation the two benefit programs cannot be used concurrently.  

Other Factors to Consider

Surviving spouses are eligible to receive Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) while using the Fry Scholarship. Children, over the age of 18, in receipt of DIC will relinquish DIC payments upon the start of using VA education benefits such as the Fry Scholarship. 

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Link for More Useful Information:

https://www.va.gov/education/survivor-dependent-benefits/fry-scholarship/

Apply for education benefits:

https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/5490/introduction

Benefit Information

Dependents' Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Eligibility

You must be the son, daughter, or spouse of:

  • A veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces.
  • A veteran who died from any cause while such permanent and total service-connected disability was in existence.
  • A service member missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
  • A service member forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A service member who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective December 23, 2006.

Period of Eligibility

If you are a son or daughter and wish to receive benefits for attending school, you must be between the ages of 18 and 26. In certain instances, it is possible to begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26. Marriage is not a bar to this benefit. If you are in the Armed Forces, you may not receive this benefit while on active duty. To pursue training after military service, your discharge must not be under dishonorable conditions. VA can extend your period of eligibility by the number of months and days equal to the time spent on active duty. This extension cannot generally go beyond your 31st birthday, there are some exceptions.

If you are a spouse, benefits end 10 years from the date VA finds you eligible or from the date of death of the veteran. If the VA rated the veteran permanently and totally disabled with an effective date of 3 years from discharge a spouse will remain eligible for 20 years from the effective date of the rating. This change is effective October 10, 2008 and no benefits may be paid for any training taken prior to that date.

For surviving spouses (spouses of service members who died on active duty) benefits end 20 years from the date of death. 

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Link for More Useful Information:

https://www.va.gov/education/survivor-dependent-benefits/dependents-education-assistance/

Apply for education benefits:

https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/5490/introduction