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Son Starting College

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Guest jangrin


Guest jangrin

We are filling out the VA form Form 22-5490 for our son to request the educational assistance for DEA Educational Benefits. (Chapter 35 educational).

Once the form is mailed -does anyone know how long before we hear back?

Does VA send a letter of eligibility, that he takes to the school?

He is scheduled to start college in August.

Also, we have read in a couple of different places that it may be best to defer getting the educational benefits until later, but it doesn't explain why it would be better, does anyone have any imput?

Tt looks like the monthly benefit is $860.00 for full time school. Is this correct? Sorry for so many questions. I trust in the folks at Hadit more than the VA counselors.

Thank you for any advise/knowledge on this.


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When he registers he needs to see the VA Office at the College. They will help him with a packet and forms he needs filled out. Once he gets paid he can even work at jobs paid for by the VA to help offset expenses. He will need a degree plan and he needs to know up front that if he adds or drops a course he needs permission from VA.

Every College has an office devoted to helping students with the VA

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Jangrin- Chapter 35 benefits are paid as a refund to the tuition-

in other words-I paid 750.00 -1,000 per course-

say the course ran 4 months- VA divides up the 750-1,000 into a daily rate for 4 months- and sends 4 checks-they also send periodic statements as to how they figured the money out.

Sometimes I took accelerated courses- 8 weeks-so the tuition came in 2 checks-

had a glitch once and I got 3 checks in 2 days.

I told my daughter to apply at AMU (my school has excellent Intelligence Masters degree program) before her bachelor's was finished to get the Certificate of Eligibility established -

She wasnt ready to enroll but I said this way the VA has time to mess up her app-

and we would have time to fix it.

They messed up and forgot to credit her 7 years of military service-

only took 3 weeks to get the award letter-they gave her ONE month under Chap 35-

I nodded it and then 3 weeks later they corrected it with the Certificate sent to her and AMU to 7 years and one month of Chap 35.

SO best to get the application, with the award letter attached, and the course info to the VA ASAP.

Pete is right-the VA wants to know on the app- the plan of action-

I emailed my AMU VA counselor copies of the paid tuition and the info for each course and emailed copy to VA EDU dept too-

It all basically went pretty smoothly-

but the tuition must be paid, the student must be in the course for about 2-3 weeks before they process the refund and it is often hard to determine when the refund will come-not like comp on 1st of month.

I believe one can get Pell Grants and even scholarships and still get Chap 35 too-

not 100% sure- worth checking into-

there might be state benefits for veterans children and maybe he could get a Book grant.

I don't understand why anyone would "defer" Chap 35-

Is he a veteran? My daughter has both GI Bill and Chap 35-

one for Masters-one for doctorate -if it works out that way-

Is this what someone meant about deferring one to use the other first?

All of these have limiting dates of eligibility so I dont quite understand why anyone would defer these benefits.

The school must be VA approved and most colleges are-

If he lives on the east coast he will probably get the same VA Educational people I have dealt with in Buffalo-Robert Quall and others there are usually pretty good to deal with -

Voc Rehab is completely different than Chapter 35-

there is some Chap 35 info at the VA web site .

I was only Chap 35 at my school and only second civilian so this was new to them too- the VA counselor there handles mainly TAP ,active duty students,and GI bill etc.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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Guest jangrin

Berta & Pete,

Thanks, Our son is 17 he just graduated from high school. He will start college in August about 2 weeks before his 18th birthday.

The VA just sent us a letter stating that the money Chuckles gets on his compensation check will stop when our son turns 18, unless he is a student. In the same week we got the Chapter 35 benefits letter. I understand that the compensation check would be for the usual amount for 18-23 age range.

If our son elects to go to college full time he would recieve $860.00 per month while in school. I don't think Chuckles is allowed to get compensation if our son is getting school payments. I think it is either/ or , from what I'm reading.

The Chapter 35 doesn't talk about tuition riembursment, it talks about credits and full time, part time, one quarter time. Payment seems to be based on credits/units carried. Tuition riembursement may be for correspondence courses?

The pamphlet we recieved says to send in the application. I think it needs to go in right away before school starts, to establish eligibility for benefits. Then he can go to counselor at the college and figure out his classes and goals. I will call the college and find out about getting an appointment.

The problem is their not real specific about when and what to do to get set up. Like sending a copy of the award letter with application form for benefits. Here's some info for anyone interested.

DEA provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Special Restorative Training is available to persons eligible for DEA benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs may prescribe special restorative training where needed to overcome or lessen the effects of a physical or mental disability for the purpose of enabling an eligible person to pursue a program of education, special vocational program or other appropriate goal. Medical care and treatment or psychiatric treatment are not included. Contact your local VA office for more information.

Special Vocational Training is also available to persons eligible for DEA benefits. This type of program may be approved for an eligible person who is not in need of Special Restorative Training, but who requires such a program because of a mental or physical handicap. Contact your local VA office for more information.




Educational Assistance Allowance for trainees under the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35 of title 38, U.S.C.). The following basic monthly rates are effective October 1, 2006.


Institutional Training

Training Time

Monthly rate

Full time


3/4 time


1/2 time


less than 1/2 time more than 1/4 time


1/4 time or less

$215.00 **

Correspondence - Entitlement charged at the rate of one month for each $860.00 paid.

** Tuition and Fees ONLY. Payment cannot exceed the listed amount.

Apprenticeship and On-Job Training

Training Period

Monthly rate

First six months of training


Second six months of training


Third six months of training $380.00

Remaining pursuit of training



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I am Chapter 35 student as a widow- maybe your son's Chap 35 is different then mine-

I attend a military university-

I pay the tuition and then the VA reimburses me as I mentioned below-

I dont know how they handle correspondence courses.

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When he registers he needs to see the VA Office at the College. They will help him with a packet and forms he needs filled out. Once he gets paid he can even work at jobs paid for by the VA to help offset expenses. He will need a degree plan and he needs to know up front that if he adds or drops a course he needs permission from VA.

Every College has an office devoted to helping students with the VA

You don't need permission from the VA to add/drop in general... the only time you need to inform them of a class change is if it affects your fulltime status.

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As for the general question - it only took me about 2 weeks to get the form from the VA that the college requires. Basically, you send your award letter + your 214 and they mail you a paper saying you're qualified. This letter, in turn, is brought to the VA office at the college and they set up the money according to part-time/full-time status.

A few notes - Berta is correct, you CAN utilize pell grants (if you qualify) AND your VA money...also, you can collect both of those with any scholarships you're awarded.

The money you get from the VA MUST come in the form of a check...they will not direct deposit.

Correspondence does not affect your VA money. Since my wife requires me to be at home 99% of the time, I take almost exclusively distance learning courses. The VA only cares about whether you're full-time, part-time, half-time, etc..

Also, look into your college bylaws (or state laws) and see if the college offers lower tuition for disabled veterans. On top of the VA monthly check, I only have to pay 50% of the normal tuition, per credit hour.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

P.S. - You get the VA form (to send in) from the main VA website (under education I believe). The form tells you what you need (award letter + 214) and tells you where to send the letter (different for each state).

Edited by Jay Johnson (see edit history)
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