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Can Our Son Use His Father’s GI Bill From the 1960s?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My late ex-husband was a Vietnam vet, he served 4 years & 4 months in the Navy in the 60s…Is our 17 year old son eligible to use his father’s G I Bill? The VA did tell me to contact them when Mark was ready for college back when I first contacted them after his father’s death.

A: Without more information, I can only speculate, however, it sounds like the VA may have reason to believe Mark is eligible for the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program. If your ex-husband was permanently and totally disabled, and it was rated as service-connected, then Mark should qualify.

If so, then he could get 45 months of entitlements to go to school. The monthly pay for a DEA recipient currently is $936 for a full-time student. Out of that money, he would have to pay his tuition, fees and other education-related expenses.

If Mark gets DEA benefits, he has from age 18 to 26 to use those benefits. Any unused benefits at age 26 are lost. If he does not qualify for DEA, there are many different kinds of scholarships, grants and loans available for school. A good place to start is by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what he would qualify for as far as student financial assistance.

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