Active duty service members and veterans aren’t the only ones who reap the benefits from their services and sacrifices of joining the military. Children of veterans can also access many benefits, including tuition assistance, healthcare, and many other perks for being part of this community. Let’s take a look at some of the more common benefits that children of veterans can receive. For a personalized look at the benefits you or your dependents might be eligible for, contact your local VA office.
Benefits for Children of Disabled Veterans
The Department of Veteran Affairs, or the VA, has many programs for children of disabled veterans. There are different criteria that have to be met before qualifying for these benefits. To be eligible for some benefits, a veteran must have a 100% rated service-connected disability. They must meet the requirements and definition of “totally and permanently disabled,” with the Schedule of Rating Disabilities found here, while also being marked as permanently disabled.
Another factor for certain benefits VA Dependent Benefits is if the disability is temporary or permanent. Those benefits cover educational and healthcare expenses.
College Benefits for Children of Veterans
Children of veterans, but also children of deceased veterans have access to tuition-assistance and financial aid for attending college. The benefits vary by state (some offer completely free tuition for children of veterans!), and some offer things like the Post 9-11 GI Bill transferability, scholarships, and various programs.
Post 9-11 GI Bill Transferability
Service members can use their GI Bill to fund their own education. Or they can share those education benefits with their dependent children and immediate family before leaving the service depending on a few determinants. The first factor is whether the veteran has used their GI Bill yet. They can only transfer unused portions, and it only offers up to 36 months of aid, so the used portion would be deducted from the amount available for transfer.
For those intending to share the Post 9-11 GI Bill, 6 years of service is one of the stipulations, and an obligation to serve at least 4 more.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program
The DEA program offers benefits to children of veterans who are totally and permanently disabled due to service-related work or to children of veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related issue. This program offers up to 45 months if used before August 18, 2018 (36 months if after) of education benefits that can be used towards on-the-job training, degrees or certificates, and apprenticeships.
In most circumstances, the child of a veteran must be between the ages of 18 and 26 to be eligible for the DEA program. But it’s also worth noting that a child over 18 can not participate in the DEA program and still receive Dependency Indemnity Compensation payments simultaneously. Children can sometimes begin before they are 18 years old and continue past the age of 26. It also doesn’t matter if they are married or not, they still remain eligible.
Scholarships and Grants
Who doesn’t want free money when it comes to a college education, especially with the rising costs of tuition and student loan debt. Scholarships and grants sometimes take some effort to apply for, but the effort is worth it when you receive that aid that you don’t have to pay back. As a child of a veteran, you might apply for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, which is a scholarship that can pay up to 100% of costs for children and surviving spouses of military service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001.
It’s important to look at scholarships offered by 3rd parties, through the state, through the school. Oftentimes you will find scholarships specifically for children of veterans, and they are fairly simple to apply for and be awarded. All you have to do to get started is a simple search of the top scholarships for children of veterans, and voila!
Healthcare Benefits For Children Of Veterans
CHAMPVA, which stands for Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs, is the VA’s health benefit for a permanently disabled veteran’s dependents. The child is eligible until they are 18, or up to age 23 if they are enrolled in school full-time and are unmarried. The program covers most healthcare services that a patient might need.
Adult children over 18 and 23 can continue to access CHAMPVA if they are deemed “helpless children.” Helpless children essentially mean the child has been diagnosed or labeled as permanently incapable of taking care of themselves. Determining whether a child is “helpless” is done by your local VA office.
Disabled veterans, their spouses, and dependents can receive monthly income based on a compensation rate table. If the veteran is rated as more than 30% disabled due to a service-related condition, that compensation is increased by the VA. If the veteran is no longer living, the spouse or dependents may become eligible for monthly income payments with Dependents Indemnity Compensation.
If you are a child or dependent of a veteran and you are struggling financially – with food, shelter, clothing, and the essentials, there are a ton of programs out there created to help veterans and their families specifically. They might not be affiliated with the Department of Veteran Affairs, but many are non-profit organizations that are committed to taking care of our veterans and their families. If you’re struggling, you can reach out to your local VA office and they should be able to point you in the direction of the assistance that you need.
There are many military benefits for children of veterans. Dependents may be eligible for survivor benefits, scholarships, grants offered to military dependents but offered from 3rd party organizations, life insurance, and so much more. To discover what you or your dependents might be eligible for, you can contact your local VA office or a Veterans Resource Officer at your school.