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Title 38 USC, Chapter 35
Survivors' and Dependents' Education Assistance

Note: This program is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Educational assistance under Title 38, USC, Chapter 35 provides monthly payments for training up to 45 months to the spouse and children of:

  • Veterans who died or totally disabled from the result of active service.
  • Veterans who died from any cause while rated permanently and totally disabled from service-connected causes.
  • Service members who are missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
  • Service members who are detained or interred in line of duty by a foreign government.
  • Benefits to a spouse end 10 years from the date the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) notifies spouse of eligibility for the program. Extensions may be granted for a disability.
  • Children generally must not be older than 23 years of age.
  • Extensions may be granted for children with a disability or for children entering active duty in the military, but NO benefits for children will be paid after their 31st birthday. If child is a military member, they cannot use "IN-SERVICE" benefits.
  • If combined with other Federally Legislated Education Programs (e.g. MGIB, MGIB-SR, VEAP, 34/30, VOC REHAB), cannot exceed the total amount of 48 benefit months.
  • Benefits may be awarded for the pursuit of associate, bachelor or graduate degrees at colleges and universities including independent study, co-operative training and study abroad programs. Courses leading to a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools may also be taken. Benefits may be awarded for apprenticeships, on the job training programs and farm co-operative courses. Benefits for correspondence under certain conditions are available to spouses only. Secondary-school programs may be pursued if the individual is not a high school graduate. An individual with a deficiency in a subject may receive tutorial assistance benefits if enrolled half time or more. Deficiency, refresher and other training may be available.

Participants must train at the three quarter or full time rate. They will be paid in advance 40% of the amount specified in the work study agreement or an amount equal to 50 times the minimum wage, whichever is less. Participants under the supervision of a VA employee may provide outreach services, prepare and process VA paperwork, and work at a VA medical facility or perform other approved activities.

The Department of Veterans Affairs may provide counseling services to help an eligible dependent pursue an educational or vocational objective.


An eligible child over the age of 14 with a physical or mental disability that impairs pursuit of an educational Program may receive special restorative training to lessen or overcome that impairment. This training may include speech and voice correction, language retraining, lip reading, auditory training, Braille reading and writing, and similar Programs. Specialized vocational training is also available to an eligible spouse or child over age 14 who is handicapped by a physical or mental disability that prevents the pursuit of an educational program.


Loans are available to spouses who qualify for educational assistance benefits. Spouses who have passed their 10-year period of eligibility may be eligible for an educational loan. During the first two years after the end of their eligibility period they may borrow up to $2,500.00 per academic year to continue a full time course leading to a college degree or to a professional vocational objective which requires at least six months to complete. The VA may waive the 6-month requirement. Loans are based on financial need.


The VA will pay a special Montgomery GI Bill death benefit to a designated survivor in the event of a service-connected death of an individual while on active duty or within 1-year after discharge or release. The deceased must either have been entitled to educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill Program or a participant in the Program who would have been so entitled but for the high school diploma or length of service requirement. The amount paid will be equal to the participant's actual military pay reduction, less any education benefits paid.

For more information, contact the DVA at 1-800-827-1000.

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