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I need help with what to do with my child's education costs





Regarding education benefits retroactive for my child. (retroactive 100% P&T after she had filled out all the VA education benefits forms with the va during her schooling before my appeal awards for 100% P&T).

 I am trying to figure out how to state my problem and not mess it up in explanation. Those that have had experience with this and navigated successfully I hope can figure it out.


I was only at 50% VA disability (I was filing disagreements and permanently disabled, with SSDI, but not the 100% benefits for dependents) while my daughter went to school, she was born 1992. She graduated high school 2010. Went to community college, filled out financial aide with the VA and the school. Ten she transferred to a University and received a Bachelors degree 2014 (she also filled out the VA education forms and financial aide at the College). She then transferred to a University and received a Masters Degree June 2020 (she filled out the VA education papers and the financial aide documents there too). She has huge student loans (through student financial aide programs with student loan lenders.

Finally in 2019 I won a rating increase to 90% by BVA the award). Then my rating increase to 100% P&T in 2020 effective July 2012.

So, she filled out the VA education benefits during all of her college courses , though I was only at 50% while she went to school, so the VA didn't pay (no help with the education benefits).

But, I won the 100% P&T retroactive going back to 2012. How does she get the VA retroactive education benefits for her college and University degrees? She filled out everything on time, submitted to my VA files through the VA, and the financial aide offices at the schools. She finished schooling (completed her MBA programs) after going to college and universities from the ages 18 to 28.


I can't get any help because of our Virus situation out governor has the place on lockdown and can't get any help, answers, etc. here in Oregon (Salem VA offices only have a recording, they say they will return call but never do.). Can't even get them to answer calls, or a decent answer.

Is there a special form to have retroactively get the benefits paid get done? Does the VA look at my files and go back to do something?

I found some forms, but they are not retroactive they are for future or present students.

I hope I explained this and there has to be many veterans who have gone through this before.


Thank you very much,, we really appreciate the help !




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  • HadIt.com Elder

 "I won the 100% P&T retroactive going back to 2012. How does she get the VA retroactive education benefits for her college and University degrees?"

The DEA will pay for any education at an approved college ( MOST are VA approved) back to the EED.

They will need the DEA application filled out, and a copy of the award letter you have for the DEA and the EED, and any other info the Chapter 35 app calls for.

I think your daughter might want to get in contact with the VA counselor and their financial advisor  at the schools she attended from 2012 and up to present date.

I was the only civilian at AMU and the only DEA student at that time- and I had a financial aid person as well as their veteran's counselor to make sure my DEA went the right way.They both had email addys at the college which helped a lot.

A decision I received after the 100% P & T posthumous award one for my husband, changed my entitlement date , my DIC...changed everything-and I prepared a letter or maybe just email,with that evidence, to support ,from the VA ( their DEA  division)- a retro payment as, as under the newer decision, they owed me money.

They needed to use my student account (  your daughter has that info on line,I imagine, in her student records) to prove the tuition I had paid, after my initial DEA ran out. They did pay it- I cant really recall- 6 or 8 thousand dollars I believe.

Steve, I wrote to the VA Edu Department when my daughter was in the military to ask them some questions she had about her DEA entitlement. ( 1997- no real internet info then) and I received a very nice letter from the VA telling me that,since my daughter was an adult, she would have to ask the VA those questions herself or just fill out her DEA app ,herself, which was enclosed with one for me, along with the posthumous 100% P & T SC award letter.

She did apply for DEA while she was in the mil and they made a big CUE in their decision, Mommy sure fixed the CUE and in three weeks she got the proper DEA award- but she has her Masters, now, and paid for her whole education herself because, after seeing this error, and all her dad and I went through- she does not want to deal with the VA at all.

Your daughter will need to fill out the DEA app, which should come with the award letter,  a copy of the 100% P & T award letter granting DEA, and proof of her college tuition expenses that she paid from the 2012 EED to the present.

She might be able to do a lot of this right on line.

My daughter could not believe how stupid her first VA DEA decision was. I said Welcome to my world.

They gave her one month of DEA and forgot to add the 7 years Military service (USAF)she had. That regulation is right on the application and she correctly filled out that part and enclosed a copy of her DD 214.

Sometimes VA Educational Department  is an oxymoron. They reversed on the CUE I wrote for her, in 3 weeks.






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Shortly after your child gets approved for DEA, the VA sends them a letter asking them to check option A or B:

A.  Do you want retro DEA benefits back to 2012 (the effective date of your 100 percent P and T).  

B.  Or, do you want benefits to start now?  

     If you dont tell them, then they assume you do not want retro benefits for DEA.  (This is the way my son's happened, I even saw some of the letters).  

     You have to "stay on top" and read letters VA sends you.  If you dont understand them, you need to ask for help.  

I suggest you do all of what Berta mentioned.  

     My son wanted back retro, but VA lost the form he faxed in making that option. (Imagine that!)   His counselor at the school "re sent" it to VA, along with proof of faxing it earlier.  He never got retro, and decided it was not worth fighting them for, because he had much school to go, and you only have about 45  months worth..so it worked ok.  

     Maybe Berta knows, but Im not sure you can appeal an option YOU make (or dont make, because, I think by default, they dont pay retro.) Go ahead and try, tho, if VA sent you a denial letter.  We never got a denial letter from VA denying retro for DEA.  Some employee over the phone said they had not received our opting for retro form, so it was assumed we did not want retro.  

      He had a limited time to send in the form, probably 60 days.  

      With benefits, if YOU dont respond to VA's request for information, your claim is "deemed abandoned".  That makes sense.  If VA sends you a letter asking you to sign a release of your medical records, and you dont comply, well, I guess you did not want benefits that bad, and you should not be suprised when VA drops your claim.  

       Its my opinion, that, unless your daughter send in the required "opt in" to retro form, that I described above, you may be out of luck.  The good news is she did not lose VA benefits but may be able to continue getting VA payments even to graduate school.  Its my understanding Ben Kraus got his law degree on VA's dime.  Its possible you wont get the retro, but she should be able to get the 45 months regardless.  

      In other words, if she got 24 months retro, she would only have 21 months left.  Read this: https://benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/resources/benefits_resources/rates/ch35/ch35rates100119.asp




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she is done with school, it's all retro now... from 2012 to 2020. The damned va will not answer the phones here....


thanx.. I will tell my daughter which forms.. I already sent her a bunch of links...

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