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Virginia Military Survivors & Dependents Education Program

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Reserves. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism or as the result of a terrorist act, a peace-keeping mission, or any armed conflict after December 6, 1941.

  • NOTE: A Veteran’s 90-100% disability must have been directly caused by the Veteran’s involvement in: 1) military operations against terrorism; 2) a peacekeeping mission; 3) a terrorist act; 4) an armed conflict subsequent to December 6, 1941. The service connected disability cannot have been incurred during active duty that coincides with, but was not the direct result of, one of the listed events/missions.

The purpose of VMSDEP is to promote access to high-quality education at Virginia’s public colleges and universities for survivors and dependents of qualified Veterans. Benefits are available for up to 4 academic years. Download the VMSDEP flyer here.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying veteran service members must meet the following requirements:

  • The dependent child must be between the ages 16 and 29 inclusively; there is no age restriction for spouses
  • The qualifying military service member must be a current Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia presently and for five consecutive years prior to the date of application submission or must have entered military service as a citizen of Virginia
  • In the case of a deceased qualifying military service member, the surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements by:
    1. Having been a Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia for five consecutive years prior to marrying the military service member or
    2. Presently being a Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia for five consecutive years prior to the date of application submission

Supporting Documentation

The following documents should be uploaded and attached to the online application:

ATTENTION: Effective immediately, a VMSDEP application that requires additional documentation and/or action from the applicant that has reached or exceeded 120 days from the last date of activity, will be administratively denied. The administrative denial will require the applicant to submit a new application. No exceptions.

NOTE: Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) are preferred

1 – DD Form 214/Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4

In the instances of deceased Veteran, please provide:

  • DD Form 1300/Report of Casualty if Veteran died while on active duty OR
  • Death Certificate and DD Form 214/Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4 if the Veteran died succeeding active duty service

2 – If the Home of Record on the DD Form 214 is not listed as Virginia, submit official documents showing the Veteran has been a bona fide domiciliary of Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to, or has had a physical presence in Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date on which the admission application was submitted by or on behalf of the survivor or dependent for admission to any public institution of higher education or other public accredited post-secondary institution granting a degree, diploma, or certificate in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The documents must show the Veteran’s name and physical address. In most cases, you may need to submit one document for each year to show five years proof of presence. Documents you may submit, but are not limited to:

  • State Income Tax Records
  • Real Estate Tax Records
  • Personal Property Tax Records
  • Voter Registration Records
  • Mortgage Monthly Statement or Residential Rental/Lease Agreement
  • Payroll or Check Stubs Issued with Virginia Address
  • Leave and Earning Statement Form
  • Annual Social Security Statement
  • Utility Bills
  • Home of Record at Time of Entry box on the DD-214 listing Virginia
  • Letter from commanding officer on official letterhead with an original signature stating the Veteran resides in Virginia (must specify length of time resided in Virginia)

3 – Official documents to show that the Veteran’s death or the Veteran’s service-connected condition(s) resulted from direct involvement in covered military combat and that the Veteran is considered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent disabled for such condition(s). Official documents you may submit, but are not limited to:

    • Initial VA Rating Decision Narrative
    • VA Code Sheet

NOTE:  If DVS does not hold your Power of Attorney (POA), you can authorize DVS to request the Initial VA Rating Decision Narrative and VA Code Sheet on your behalf. Please submit a signed and dated VA Form 3288 if this pertains to you.

  • Relevant Service Medical Record Extracts
  • Relevant Military Personnel File Extracts
  • Prior Military Disability Board Decisions
  • Line of Duty Determinations
  • Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Eligibility Information that include the Veteran’s Combat-Related Percentage
  • Casualty Reports

4 – Proof of Dependency:

  • Marriage License/Certificate  OR
  • Birth Certificate or Adoption Decree/Court Order

NOTE: If you are the stepchild of the Veteran, you must be adopted by the Veteran to meet the dependency eligibility criteria.

If you have appointed a Veterans Services Organization (VSO) or representative to assist you with Veteran’s support services, you may contact your VSO or representative to assist you in obtaining the requested information as listed above. If you have not appointed a VSO or representative, you may contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000 or visit the VA website at for a list of VSOs and representatives recognized or approved to provide services to the Veteran community.

DVS may also access information held by your VSO or representative that may be used to determine your eligibility for VMSDEP. Please complete the form below and upload with the documentation requested above.

Information Release Authorization

Follow this process to upload the requested documents:

  1. Log into your VMSDEP online application.
  2. Select the plus (+) symbol to upload your additional documentation.

If you have any questions,please contact DVS via telephone at (804)225-2083 or via email at

VMSDEP Online Application

The Veteran Education Training & Employment (VETE) directorate of DVS is pleased to offer a new VMSDEP online application process.  Applications for the VMSDEP entitlement are only accepted via the online application portal. Please call (804) 225-2083 should you have any questions about submitting an application online.

Processing of the VMSDEP application submission will begin with the receipt of all of the requested documents as outlined under the Required Documentation drop down list.

Click on the application link below to proceed:

Online Application »

How to Upload Documents to Your Application »

Wartime Service

Name Dates

Military Operations:

United Nations Peacekeeping Missions:

To learn more about the VMSDEP program

Contact Information

Phone: (804) 225-2083
Fax: (804) 786-0809



900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Hours: Monday through
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.