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Virginia Military Survivors & 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 (USDVA) 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 four academic years.

Announcement from VMSDEP

Attention!! 2023 VMSDEP Student Laptop Applications NOW OPEN!

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) is offering free laptops to VMSDEP registered students. Made possible by a generous grant from the Altria Group, VMSDEP an the Military Education and Workforce Initiatives Program were able to partner with the Veterans Services Foundation, to offer laptops at no cost to VMSDEP currently enrolled and registered students. These laptops will be distributed on a first come first served basis by region. There will be more information to follow regarding the date and location of distribution in your region, which will be posted below.

Click Here To Apply

 

 

Please sign up for VMSDEP updates so you do not miss any important announcements!

Text “VMSDEP” to 42828

or you can click here: https://lp.constantcontact.com/su/tmH9Xdu/MyVMSDEP

If you have questions, please contact us at vmsdep@dvs.virginia.gov or 804-225-2083.

 

Benefits Provided

Available to Tier 1 and Tier 2 Authorizations:

Tuition and Mandatory Fees Waiver  – Eligible students, as confirmed by DVS, are guaranteed waiver of all tuition and mandatory fees for eight semesters at a Virginia public college or university.

 

Available to only Tier 2 Authorization:

VMSDEP Stipend – Eligible students may receive a stipend one time during the semester to off- set 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.

Requirements for Tier 1 Authorization

A Tier 1 qualifying Veteran is one who:

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

 

A Spouse must:

 

A Child must:

 

Stepchild:

Tier 1 Authorization has not extended to include the stepchild. See Requirements for Tier 2 Authorization.

 

Items Required to Process Application for Tier 1 Authorization

Authorization to Review Records FormThe VMSDEP Office may access the qualifying Veteran’s USDVA records in order to determine eligibility. The VMSDEP Office will not process an application without a completed Authorization to Review Records Form signed by the qualifying Veteran.

 

Proof of  Military Service:

  • DD Form 214,Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4; or
  • DD Form 256, Honorable Discharge Certificate; or
  • DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty; or
  • NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service.

 

Proof of Presence in Virginia: Evidence showing the qualifying Veteran meets the domiciliary requirement as defined in the Code of Virginia § 23.1-608 is required if Virginia is not listed as the Home of Record Upon Entry on the item used to show Proof of Military Service. If applicable, evidence to show Proof of Presence in Virginia must show the qualifying Veteran’s full name, date, and physical address. In most cases, one document for each year is required to show 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 applying dependent(s) to a Virginia public college or university . Example of evidence to show Proof of Presence in Virginia:

  • 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
  • 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.

 

Proof of DisabilityOfficial document(s) showing the qualified Veteran is rated by the USDVA as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled for service-connected condition(s). Official document applicants must submit is:

  • USDVA Benefits Summary Narrative only if the qualifying Veteran considered as totally and permanently disabled; or
  • USDVA Rating Decision Narrative (Complete Copy) if the qualifying Veteran is not considered as totally and permanently disabled. IMPORTANT NOTE: The USDVA Rating Decision Narrative must include all service-connected conditions and percentage of such conditions for the combined USDVA rating equating to at least 90 percent.

 

Proof of Dependency:

  • Spouse: Marriage License/Certificate
  • Biological or Adopted Child: Birth Certificate or Adoption Decree/Court Order
  • Stepchild: Tier 1 Authorization has not extended to include the stepchild. See Items Required to Process Application for Tier 2 Authorization.

 

NOTE: 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 USDVA documents listed below. If you have not appointed a VSO or representative, you may contact the USDVA 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.

 

Requirements for Tier 2 Authorization

A Tier 2 qualifying military service member is one who:

  • served in military combat and due to such service was Killed In Action; or
  • served in military combat and due to such service became Missing In Action; or
  • served in military combat and due to such service was taken Prisoner Of War; or
  • served in military combat and due to such service became rated by the USDVA as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90% permanently disabled.

 

NOTE: Service in military combat includes (1) a military operation against terrorism; (2) a peacekeeping mission; (3) a terrorist act; or (4) any armed conflict.

 

NOTE: A Tier 2 qualifying service member must also meet the domiciliary requirement as defined in the Code of Virginia § 23.1-608.

 

A Spouse must:

 

A Child must:

 

A Stepchild must:

  • Be the stepchild of a deceased Tier 2 qualifying military service member who claimed the stepchild on his or her tax return or on his or her Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System while serving on active duty; and
  • Be between ages of 16 and 29; and
  • Attend a Virginia public college or university.

 

Items Required to Process Application for Tier 2 Authorization

Authorization to Review Records FormThe VMSDEP Office may access the qualifying military service member’s USDVA records in order to determine eligibility. The VMSDEP Office will not process an application without a completed Authorization to Review Records Form signed by the qualifying military service member.

 

Proof of  Military Service:

  • DD Form 214,Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4; or
  • DD Form 256, Honorable Discharge Certificate; or
  • DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty; or
  • NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service.

 

Proof of Presence in Virginia: Evidence showing the qualifying military service member meets the domiciliary requirement as defined in the Code of Virginia § 23.1-608 is required if Virginia is not listed as the Home of Record Upon Entry on the item used to show Proof of Military Service. If applicable, evidence to show Proof of Presence in Virginia must show the qualifying military service member’s full name, date, and physical address. In most cases, one document for each year is required to show 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 applying dependent(s) to a Virginia public college or university . Example of evidence to show Proof of Presence in Virginia:

  • 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
  • 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.

 

Proof of Disability: Official document(s) showing the qualifying military service member served in combat (includes military operation against terrorism; a peacekeeping mission; a terrorist act; or any armed conflict) and due to such service:

  • Was killed;
  • Became missing in action;
  • Taken prisoner of war;
  • Rated by the USDVA as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent disabled.

 

Any or a combination of the following items may show proof the military service member meets the referenced requirement:

  • Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Eligibility Information that includes the qualifying military service member’s Combat-Related Percentage
  • USDVA Rating Decision Narrative IMPORTANT NOTE: The USDVA Rating Decision Narrative must include all service-connected conditions and percentage of such conditions for the combined USDVA rating equating to at least 90 percent.
  • Relevant Service Medical Records
  • Relevant Military Personnel File Extracts
  • Prior Military Disability Board Decisions
  • Line of Duty Determinations

 

Proof of Dependency:

  • Spouse: Marriage License/Certificate
  • Biological or Adopted Child: Birth Certificate or Adoption Decree/Court Order
  • Stepchild:
    • The qualifying military service member’s Death Certificate or DD Form 1300/Report of Casualty;  and
    • Marriage License/Certificate of the biological parent to the deceased qualifying military service member; and
    • Evidence showing the deceased qualifying military service member claimed the stepchild as a dependent on his or her tax return or on his or her Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System while serving on active duty.

 

NOTE: 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 USDVA documents listed below. If you have not appointed a VSO or representative, you may contact the USDVA 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.

 

When to Apply

Plan ahead in order to complete your application process and use your benefits at the start of the anticipated semester.

Prospective VMSDEP beneficiaries must submit completed applications by the dates listed below:

AppTargetDateIf you submit your application after the dates listed above, you must use a source other than the VMSDEP to cover your tuition and mandatory fees charges while awaiting eligibility determination.

How to Apply

Use the myVMSDEP portal to establish an account and submit an online application. 

Click here to view the myVMSDEP Portal Quick Start Guide

 

How to Use the VMSDEP After Approval

Each semester you intend to use VMSDEP benefits, you must identify the intent of such by following the listed “To Update Your Enrollment Information” instructions. After you have completed the listed instructions, you must contact the attending school(s) for detailed information pertaining to your student account balance.

 

Enrollment Open/Close Dates:

Terms Open Close (Due by)
Fall June 30 (4:00 PM) October 31 (3:59 PM)
Spring (Winter credits hours are combined with Spring) October 31 (4:00 PM) March 31 (3:59 PM)
Summer March 31 (4:00 PM) June 30 (3:59 PM)

If you do not complete your enrollment update by the listed Close (Due by) date and time, you must request retroactive approval from your attending Virginia public college or university; and if approved, the respective institution will notify the VMSDEP Office of such approval; upon which, the Office will authorize the qualifying semester.

 How to Update Enrollment Information for the Child of the Veteran or Servicemember:

  • Please login to the myVMSDEP portal;
  • Select ‘Step 6 Application Management’
  • Select the ‘Manage Benefits’ button (The student benefits page will display);
  • Select the ‘Add Term Benefit Information’ button;
  • Add your Term Information; then
  • Select the ‘Save Term Information’ button (Your Term information will be saved)

How Update Enrollment Information for the Spouse of the Veteran or Servicemember and for the Parent Updating Information for the Child Under Age 18:

  • Please login to the myVMSDEP portal;
  • Select “Step 2: Student’s Applications”;
  • Select “List Applications”;
  • Select the “Edit” button located in the row of the respective applicant;
  • Select “Step 6 Application Management”
  • Select the “Manage Benefits” button (The student benefits page will display);
  • Select the “Add Term Benefit Information” button;
  • Add your Term Information; then
  • Select the “Save Term Information” button (Your Term information will be saved)

From the Student benefits page, beneficiaries can view the following:

  • Upcoming Term information
  • Tier level
  • Tuition waiver used/remaining
  • Stipend used/remaining

 

NOTE: A completed Consent for Access to Records is required for a third-party to obtain information from a VMSDEP beneficiary’s record.

 

Authorization Recalculation for Only Beneficiaries Approved Prior to August 01, 2020

Please complete and submit the VMSDEP Recalculation Request Form by email to VMSDEP@dvs.virginia.gov if you have not used the benefits for a previous semester.

FAQs and User Guide

Frequently Asked Questions and myVMSDEP Portal Quick Start Guide

Frequently Asked Questions 2022-2023

myVMSDEP Portal Quick Start Guide

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

Secure Fax: (804) 786-0809

Email: vmsdep@dvs.virginia.gov 

Hours: Monday – Friday

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Please sign up for VMSDEP updates so you do not miss any important announcements!

Text “VMSDEP” to 42828 or you can click here.