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Virginia Military Survivors & Dependents Education Program

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program

The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who have been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled as a result of military service. Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, or the Virginia National Guard.

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is responsible for managing the program and collaborates with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and Virginia’s public colleges and universities to assist spouses and children of qualified military service members and Veterans in attaining their educational goals.

Benefits are available for up to eight semesters, the equivalent of up to four academic years.

 

Step 1: Benefits and Eligibility Requirements

TUITION BENEFITS  (TIER 1 & TIER 2)

Eligible students, as confirmed by DVS, are guaranteed a waiver of all tuition and mandatory fees for eight semesters at a Virginia public college or university and Eastern Virginia Medical School.

STIPEND (TIER 2 ONLY)

Eligible students may receive a stipend to offset educational expenses such as room, board, books, and supplies. SCHEV works with DVS and the public colleges and universities in disbursing funds. The amount of the stipend is determined annually by SCHEV and is dependent on the student’s enrollment status; the number of participating students; and the available funding.

TIER 1 ELIGIBILITY

The eligible student must be:

  • admitted to a Virginia public college or university; and
  • the spouse or the child between the ages of 16 and 29 of a qualifying Veteran.

A qualified Veteran is one who:

  • meets the domiciliary requirement as defined in the Code of Virginia § 23.1-608; and
  • is rated totally and permanently disabled or at least 90% permanently disabled due to military service.

TIER 2 ELIGIBILITY

The eligible student must be:

  • admitted to a Virginia public college or university; and
  • the spouse or the child between the ages of 16 and 29 of a qualifying military service member or Veteran.

A qualified military service member or Veteran is one who meets the domiciliary requirement as defined in the Code of Virginia § 23.1-608 and

  • was killed, became missing in action, taken prisoner of war; or
  • is rated totally and permanently disabled or at least 90% permanently disabled due to direct involvement in covered military combat (includes military operation against terrorism; a peacekeeping mission; a terrorist act; or any armed conflict).

NOTE: A military service member’s death or a Veteran’s total and permanent or at least 90% permanent disability must have been directly caused by the military service members’s or Veteran’s involvement in military operations: 1) against terrorism; 2) on a peacekeeping mission; 3) as a result of a terrorist act; 4) an armed conflict.

The death or service connected disability cannot have incurred during active duty that coincides with, but was not the direct result of, one of the listed events or missions.

Step 2: Gathering Supporting Documents

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 with obtaining the requested VA documents listed below. If you have not appointed a VSO or representative, you may contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000 or visit their website at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/vso-search for a list of VSOs and representatives approved to provide services to the Veteran community.

The following documents should be included with your application:

  1. Authorization Forms: In order to determine an applicant’s eligibility for this program, VMSDEP may access the Veteran’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) records. VMSDEP will use the Veterans’s records to determine if the applicant is eligible for this program. Please have the Veteran complete the form below and include it with your application. VMSDEP will not process your application without this signed document.Authorization to Review Records Form
  2. Additional Authorization Forms: In some cases, VMSDEP may obtain VA records from the Veteran’s VSO or representative. Please have the Veteran complete the form below:Authorization to Disclose Information
  3. Proof of Military Service: DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4.In the instance of a 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
  4. Proof of Residency: If the Home of Record on the DD Form 214 or DD Form 1300 is not listed as Virginia, submit official documents showing that the Veteran has established residency and has had a physical presence in Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date on the college admission application (see list of approved colleges in the Step 4). Official residency documents must show the Veteran’s name, date 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 that the Veteran currently lives in Virginia and specifying the length of time resided in Virginia.
  5. Proof of Disability: Official documents to show that the Veteran’s death or the Veteran’s service-connected condition(s) resulted from military service for Tier 1 approval or direct involvement in covered military combat for Tier 2 approval 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 permanently disabled for such condition(s). Official documents you may submit, but are not limited to:
    • VA Rating Decision Narrative
    • Relevant Service Medical Records
    • Relevant Military Personnel File Extracts
    • Prior Military Disability Board Decisions
    • Line of Duty Determinations
    • Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Eligibility Information that includes the Veteran’s Combat-Related Percentage
    • Casualty Reports
  6. 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 in order to meet the dependency eligibility criteria.

Step 3: Determine Application Target Date

In order to determine eligibility prior to your semester start date, a complete VMSDEP application should be submitted at least 90 calendar days prior to the date tuition and mandatory fees are due to the school. Although VMSDEP accepts applications year-round, please use the following chart as a guide for you to submit timely applications:

AppTargetDate

Step 4: Select a Virginia Public College or University

VMSDEP benefits may be utilized at any public institution of higher education or other public accredited postsecondary institution granting a degree, diploma, or certificate in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Click here for a list of Virginia’s public colleges and universities.

Step 5: VMSDEP Online Application


You are now ready to enter the online application portal!  Applications for VMSDEP benefits are only accepted via the online application portal. The application process will begin with the receipt of all requested documents as outlined in Step 2: Gathering Supporting Documents.

Click the application link below to proceed:

Online Application »

Follow this process to upload the requested documents:

  1. Log into your VMSDEP online application.
  2. Click View My Application
  3. Double click on the applicant’s name.
  4. Click Supporting Documents tab.
  5. Select the green plus (+) symbol and enter the information requested.
  6. Repeat these steps for each document you would like to upload.
  7. Click the Details tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  8. Click the Submit button in the bottom left corner.

Picture Tutorial: How To Upload Documents »

If you have any questions, please contact DVS via telephone at (804) 225-2083 or via email at vmsdep@dvs.virginia.gov.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions and Policy

Frequently Asked Questions 2018-2019

 

Forms

For Current VMSDEP Students

The following forms are for use by students who have already been approved for this program.

VMSDEP Summer_Winter Request Form

VMSDEP Transfer Request Form

VMSDEP Recalculation Request Form

Wartime Service

Name Dates

U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts:

https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/US-Periods-of-War-and-Dates-of-Recent-Conflicts_11Oct17.pdf

United Nations Peacekeeping Missions:

http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/operationslist.pdf

To learn more about the VMSDEP program

Contact Information

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

Email: vmsdep@dvs.virginia.gov 

 

James Monroe Building
101 North 14th Street, 17th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219

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