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Can a Disabled Veteran Transfer His GI Bill to His Son?

Q: My husband retired from the military and is disabled. Can our child use his GI Bill to attend college?

A: Probably not, unless your husband is classified by the VA as totally (100%) and permanently disabled and the disability is service-connected. If he is, then your son could attend college, not under his father’s GI Bill, but under Chapter 35 – the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program (DEA). Your son would get 45 months of education benefit that he would have to use up between age 18 and 23.

If your son does not qualify for Chapter 35, all is not lost as there are plenty of financial aid sources available. Have him start by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to see how much and what type of financial aid he might qualify for. Also, most of the military service organizations, such as the American Legion and VFW, have their own scholarship programs, as do many colleges and universities. Don’t overlook the work-study programs either that many schools offer to help defray college tuition and fees.

The point is where there is a will, there is a way. Thousands of students attend college each year and most do not have the GI Bill, so it can be done with a little patience, persistence and perseverance.

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