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As a Child of a Veteran, am I Eligible for GI Bill Benefits?

Q: If I’m the child of a veteran, am i eligible for benefits? — Sean

A: Maybe, Sean. It really depends on which GI bill your parent qualified for. If he or she came into the military in 1984 or later, it was the Montgomery GI Bill. Then no, you don’t have any educational benefits you can use.

If your parent was still on active duty on or after August 1, 2009 and qualified for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill, then he/she could have transferred education GI Bill benefits to you. I’m assuming he/she would have told you about the transferred benefits, if indeed benefits were transferred. You could have gotten a maximum of 36 months of education benefits.

You may be eligible for benefits under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program (DEA) if you are the son or daughter of:

  • a veteran who died or is permanently disabled as the result of a service-connected disability;
  • a veteran who died from any cause while having a service-connected disability;
  • a service member missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force;
  • a service member forcibly detained by a foreign government or power.

Under the DEA program, you could get a maximum of 45 months. With both the Post 9/11 GI Bill and DEA benefits, you have to use them up by age 26 or you lose what benefits are left.

If your parent is still alive, ask him or her about GI Bill benefits or ask a family member that would know.

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