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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 servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
  • A servicemember forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A servicemember who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability.

Period of Eligibility

If you are a son or daughter and wish to receive benefits for attending school or job training, 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 31 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.

If you are applying for the Chapter 35 Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (federal benefits) for the first time:

  1. Complete the Veterans Application. If you prefer a paper application, contact the VHCC Veterans Officer located in the Admissions Office or call (276)739-2460.
  2. If applying on-line, complete and submit the application, and then print a copy of the application for the VHCC Veterans Officer.
  3. Active Duty Veterans should submit a copy of their DD-214 (Discharge Form); and National Guard and Reservist should submit a copy of their NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility Form, which your Unit should have). Be sure to also submit any other essential documentation, such as Kicker contracts.
  4. Once you have enrolled in your classes, submit a Certification Request for VA Educational Benefits form to the VHCC Veterans Officer who will certify your enrollment with the regional Veterans Administration Office for processing. This process usually takes the regional office approximately 30 days; however, during peak periods, processing can take up to ten weeks.
  5. If you are a new student at VHCC or have not attended in the past three years, you will also need to complete the VHCC Admissions Application.
  6. If you previously attended any colleges or universities (other than Virginia Community Colleges), submit official college transcript(s) and a completed VHCC Transcript Evaluation Request form to the VHCC Veterans Officer.

If you have received VA education assistance at VHCC previously:

  1. Contact the VHCC Veterans Officer located in the Admissions Office or call (276)739-2460.
  2. Once you have enrolled in your classes, submit aCertification Request for VA Educational Benefits form to the VHCC Veterans Officer who will certify your enrollment with the regional Veterans Administration Office for processing. This process usually takes the regional office approximately 30 days; however, during peak periods, processing can take up to ten weeks.
  3. If you have not attended VHCC in the past three years, you will also need to complete the VHCC Admissions Application.
  4. If you have attended any colleges or universities (other than Virginia Community Colleges) since you last attended VHCC, submit official college transcript(s) and a completed VHCC Transcript Evaluation Request form to the VHCC Veterans Officer.

If you have received VA education assistance previously at another college or university but not at VHCC:

  1. Complete the Dependents’ Request for Change of Program or Place or Training form VA Form 22-5495.
  2. Print the Change of Program or Place of Training form.
  3. Sign the form.
  4. Submit the form to the VHCC Veterans Officer located in the Admissions Office.
  5. Once you have enrolled in your classes, submit a Certification Request for VA Educational Benefits form to the VHCC Veterans Officer who will certify your enrollment with the regional Veterans Administration Office for processing. This process usually takes the regional office approximately 30 days; however, during peak periods, processing can take up to ten weeks.
  6. If you are a new student at VHCC or have not attended in the past three years, you will also need to complete the VHCC Admissions Application.
  7. Submit official college transcripts and a completed VHCC Transcript Evaluation Request form to the VHCC Veterans Officer.

To Apply for the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program:

  1. Complete the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program (VMSDEP) online application. If you would prefer a paper application, contact the VHCC Veterans Officer located in the Admissions Office or call (276)739-2460.
  2. In most cases, eligibility will be determined using documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (federal). However, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (state) may ask the veteran or surviving spouse to provide documentation verifying residency or the applicant’s age or relationship. State income tax records, birth certificate, and/or marriage certificates are usually sufficient. VMSDEP applications are accepted year round. However, you should submit your VMSDEP application at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester in order to ensure your Letter of Eligibility is issued in a timely manner.
  3. Once the student receives the VMSDEP Letter of Eligibility, present it to the VHCC Veterans Officer.
  4. Also, be sure to complete the requirements for the Chapter 35 Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (federal benefits). 
  5. If you are a new student at VHCC or have not attended in the past three years, you will need to complete the VHCC Admissions Application.
  6. If you previously attended any colleges or universities (other than Virginia Community Colleges), submit official college transcript(s) and a completed VHCC Transcript Evaluation Request Form to the VHCC Veterans Officer.
  7. If you qualify for CHAMPVA medical benefits, the VHCC Veterans Officer must submit a letter verifying full-time enrollment (enrolled in at least 12 credits for the semester) before CHAMPVA benefits will be extended to students between the ages of 18 and 23. To request this letter, contact the VHCC Veterans Officer each semester.

Contact Information for Virginia Military Survivor and Dependent Education Program
Department of Veterans Services - Veterans Benefits  

Doris Sullivan
1351 Hershberger Road NW Suite 220
Roanoke, VA 24012
Telephone: (540)561-6625
Fax: (540)857-7573

Last updated: 3/17/2014 10:49:22 AM