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Education For Spouse


My wife wants to take a correspondence course. I have Chapter 35 bennies and I believe she would qualify for educational assistance. I downloaded the application from the VA. Where do I send the application and what supporting documents do we need to send. We called VA but the site for education benefits is down. I know the school has to send some kind of form to VA. The school is in Vermont I think which is their physical address. Is this process very complicated because if it is my wife will give up. Not me, but she can't handle VA hoops. I am trying to break her in to dealing with the VA since she will have to deal with them someday.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I found out the school is just a scam. My wife always falls for these things. The school says they don't deal with the VA. What decent school won't certify a student with the VA? It was some kind of BS correspondence course that teaches "Alternative Health" crapola. The contract obligates students to pay if they drop the course before completion. Wife did not read the fine print. She did not sign it, thank God. There are good distance learning schools out there I know that the VA will certify.

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There sure are good schools out there- that VA will pay Chapter 35 for.

Chapter 35 paid for half of my degree.

I have three certificates-2 from correspondence schools and one from AMU that was in addition to my degree.

These were all quite involved and all required lots of study.Just as hard as college-

College courses might be her best best.

Every VA approved college says that on their home page.

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In 2003 I was awarded Chapter 35 back to August 2001. How many years of eligibility would my wife have and would it start in 2001 or 2003. Is she going to run out of time in August 2001? Can she get an extention?

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They usually hold to the delimiting eligibility date John except for:

“The 10-year delimiting period may be extended if the eligible

spouse or surviving spouse does the following: (1) applies

for the extension within the appropriate time limit; (2)

"was prevented from initiating or completing the chosen

program of education within the otherwise applicable

eligibility period because of a physical or mental disability

that did not result from . . . willful misconduct;" (3)

provides VA with any requested evidence tending to show that

he/she was prevented from initiating or completing the

program because of a physical or mental disability that did

not result from the willful misconduct of the eligible

spouse; and (4) is otherwise eligible for payment of

educational assistance for the training pursuant to Chapter

35. 38 U.S.C.A. § 3512 (b)(2); 38 C.F.R. § 21.3047(a)(i-iv).

An eligible spouse's extended period of eligibility shall be

for the length of time that the individual was prevented from

initiating or completing her chosen program of education. 38

C.F.R. § 21.3047©. Also, it must be clearly established by

medical evidence that such program of education was medically

infeasible. 38 C.F.R. § 21.3047(a)(2)(i).”


The only reason I got a better delimiting date (and thus VA had to pay me retro tuition) is because

my initial date ending was based on the 100% P & T posthumous award for my husband .They used his date of death for their limiting date.

They gave my daughter this same date but extended it for 7 years due to her 7 years of military service.

When I re opened for direct SC and succeeded, I sent the award letter to VA Educational People and they paid me the retro and gave me another very favorable limiting date.They have to change my daughters as well but she still has GI Bill too.

This was because I had succeeded in establishing a new entitlement period under Chap 35, due to a completely different award (Direct SC death)

They do extend these dates under certain criteria as in the above BVA decision.

Edited by Berta

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They will also give you a choice, whether to start the bennys on your earliest effective date OR on the date of your award. They did this with my son and he had only a couple of years left before he received his masters degree, BUT had been in college before and during my earliest effective date (which was a couple of years before my "award" date) so I elected to have them start his bennys on my Earliest Effective Claim Date (they going back two years before my actual award date and paying retro-active payments up until my award date and then picking up his last two years of college for his masters degree). If I had not done it that way, then he would have simply lost 2 years of his chap 35 bennys.

In your instance, John, you would have the chance to start her benefit date in 2001 OR 2003.

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