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With My Ex-Husband Disabled, Is Our Daughter Eligible for Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My ex-husband has a 60% service disability.  Our daughter is planning to attend a California community college this fall and we need to know if she is eligible for housing and book allowances.  If so, how do we apply for these benefits.

Unless your ex-husband transferred benefits to her while he was still on active duty, she won’t be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, she may be eligible for tuition and fees waiver as part of the California State Veterans Benefits, if she is a resident of CA.

The CA Veterans Affairs Website says “The dependent child, spouse or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to tuition and fee waiver benefits at any campus of the California State University system, University of California or a California Community College.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have a parent who is a disabled veteran (0% or more disabled) or;
  • Have a spouse who is service-connected (S/C) deceased or rated 100% S/C disabled;
  • Be a child earning less than $11,161 per year (student’s income, not parents’).
    Note: there is no income limit for a spouse or children of S/C deceased or 100% S/C veterans.
  • Attend a California Community College, California State University, or a University of California school.
  • Provide proof of the student’s relationship to the veteran such as a copy of a birth or marriage certificate.”

If she meets these requirements, then have her apply for benefits at any CA. County Veterans Service Office.

For her to be eligible under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program (DEA), your ex-husband would have to be 100% permanently disabled.

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