Posted on

Educational benefits for veterans

Educational benefits for veterans Educational benefits for veterans

Being a veteran can have benefits for your spouse and even your children when it comes to getting access to higher education.

While many people go into the military for the opportunities for training for specific jobs, others look ahead to putting their veterans benefits to use in furthering their own education and achieving professional goals that would have been out of reach otherwise.

The Wisconsin GI Bill is a State of Wisconsin Veterans benefit that enables qualifying Wisconsin Veterans and certain children and spouses to attend Wisconsin public post-secondary educational institutions tuition-free.

The Wisconsin GI Bill provides tuition remission for 128 credits or 8 semesters, whichever is longer. The tuition remission is for the combined total credits and semesters attended at all University of Wisconsin (UW) and Wisconsin Technical College System institutions, including graduate programs.

Who qualifies? A qualifying Veteran is either a current Wisconsin resident who was either: A Wisconsin resident at the time of entry into active military service.

A Wisconsin resident for at least five consecutive years preceding the beginning of any semester or session for which he or she registers at a qualifying institution.

To determine eligibility, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs certified the individual as qualifying and the educational institution determines eligibility.

In addition to the veteran being able to attend post secondary programs tuition-free, qualifying spouses and children may also use the benefit if the veteran has been awarded a service connected disability rating of at least 30% by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

The surviving spouse or children of a service member who died in the line of duty or as the result of a service connected disability. The spouse or child must also meet the same residency requirements under the Wisconsin GI Bill.

Additional eligibility qualifications for veterans to use the benefits include that they must meet one of the following: Served on active duty 90 days or more during a war period Served on active duty at least two continuous years or full initial service obligation during peacetime Regardless of length of active duty, was honorably discharged due to:

 Service-connected disability

 Disability subsequently adjudicated to have been service connected

 Reduction in the U.S. armed forces Served in a designated crisis zone

 Received the:

 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

 Vietnam Service Medal

 Navy Expeditionary Medal

 Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

 An expeditionary or service medal equivalent to

those above

 Served for any period under Section 1 of Executive Order 10957 dated August 10, 1961

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has an online portal where veterans can quickly obtain an eligibility decision related to various state Veterans Benefits or they can start the process at their local veterans service office.

Those completing it online should go to MyWisVets. com and create an account. Enter required information and complete the privacy agreement. Upload their DD214 and other documents.

Review their eligibility matrix that identifies the individual benefits for which they qualify.

If they are eligible, they can follow the link to apply online now, and obtain a certificate of eligibility. They would then complete their application for the Wisconsin GI Bill through the University of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Technical College System institution.

At the national level, if you are the child or spouse of a Veteran or service member who has died, is captured or missing, or has disabilities, you may be able to get help paying for school or job training through the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program— also called Chapter 35. You can use DEA benefits without age or time limits if you’re eligible for benefits, and one of these is true for

See EDUCATIONAL on page 12 you: The event that qualified you for DEA benefits happened to the Veteran or service member on or after August 1, 2023, or

 You turned 18 years old on or after August 1, 2023, or

 You completed high school or secondary education on or after August 1, 2023

 You have age and time limits for using your DEA benefits if all of these are true:

 The event that made you eligible for DEA benefits happened to the Veteran or service member before August 1, 2023, and

 You turned 18 before August 1, 2023, and

 You completed high school before August 1, 2023

 If you’re the child of a Veteran or service member Your benefits start at age 18. You may use these benefits for 8 years (there may be exceptions).

If you join the military, you can’t use this benefit while on active duty. And if you want to use this benefit after you leave the service, you can’t have a dishonorable discharge. Military service can extend your eligibility, but this extension usually ends when you turn 31 years old.

If you’re the spouse of a Veteran or service member, your benefits start on the date the Veterans Administration determine that you’re eligible or on the date of the Veteran or service member’s death. In most cases, the benefits end after 10 years.

If the service member died on active duty, the benefits end after 20 years.

If the VA rated the Veteran as permanently and totally disabled, with an effective date that’s within 3 years after discharge from active duty, the benefits end 20 years from that effective date in most cases.

Benefits under the program include help covering the cost of college or graduate degree programs; Career-training certificate courses; Apprenticeships and On-the-job training. You may also get educational and career counseling.