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Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)

posted Jul 22, 2014, 9:38 PM by Neslo Ventures   [ updated Jul 22, 2014, 9:39 PM ]

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans.

The following guide will help you determine if you are eligible and how to apply for the the Dept. of Veterans Affairs DEA program.

The Survivor's and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

2011-2012 DEA Payment Rates - these rates are effective October 1, 2011.
Type of Training

Full Time

3/4 Time

1/2 Time

<1/2 but
>1/4 Time

1/4 Time

Institutional

$957

$718

$476


$476

$239.25

Farm Cooperative Training $770 $578 $384 N/A N/A

 

Special Restorative Training

$957

Accelerated Charges - Cost of Tuition and Fees in Excess of $296

Entitlement Reduced 1 day for each $31.90 (1/30th of fulltime rate)

Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training

First six month period:

$698
Second six month period: $523
Third six month period: $345
Remainder of program: $174

To be eligible, you must be the son, daughter, or spouse of:

  • A veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces.
  • A veteran who died from any cause while such service-connected disability was in existence.
  • A servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
  • A servicemember forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.

Eligibility Update: Eligibility requirements have been expanded to cover a spouse or child of a person who:

  • VA determines has a service-connected permanent and total disability; and
  • at the time of VA's determination is a member of the Armed Forces who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical care, services, or treatment; and
  • is likely to be discharged or released from service for this service-connected disability.

Persons eligible under this new provision may be eligible for DEA benefits effective December 23, 2006, the effective date of the law.

If you are a son or daughter and wish to receive benefits for attending school or job training, you must be between the ages of 18 and 26. In certain instances, it is possible to begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26. Marriage is not a bar to this benefit. If you are in the Armed Forces, you may not receive this benefit while on active duty. To pursue training after military service, your discharge must not be under dishonorable conditions. VA can extend your period of eligibility by the number of months and days equal to the time spent on active duty. This extension cannot go beyond your 31st birthday.

If you are a spouse, benefits end 10 years from the date VA finds you eligible or from the date of death of the veteran.

You should make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. If you are not clear on this point, VA will inform you and the school or company about the requirements.

Obtain and complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance. Send it to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the State where you will train. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or guardian must sign the application.

If you have started training, take your application to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, and send both forms to VA.

For additional information see Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program -Pamphlet or contact your local VA Regional Office for additional assistance by dialing toll-free, 1-888-442-4551.

New Law Protects Students on Military Orders

posted May 12, 2011, 10:57 PM by Info @NesloVentures   [ updated Mar 18, 2017, 8:39 PM by Neslo Ventures ]

Federal and State Laws Protects Military Students on Orders 
March 18, 2017 

FEDERAL LAW AND REGULATIONS (AND SOME STATE LAWS) PROTECT ACTIVE DUTY, GUARD, AND RESERVE MILITARY PERSONNEL WHO ARE ATTENDING POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION SCHOOLS IF THEY HAVE TO MISS SCHOOL DUE TO MILITARY ORDERS

The federal law and regulation has the greatest protective impact on a “Veteran” who is now attending school who is also in the Guard or Reserves. The only time the federal law would not directly protect a veteran is when they are not in any reserve or active duty military status. Knowing about the law, however, might encourage a person, veteran or not, to join the military in some capacity, knowing that many disruptions to one’s education due to military orders are now ameliorated to some degree.

In 2010, the Department of Education published regulations implementing the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. The regulations, 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R) section 668.18, went into effect July 1, 2010. The law is codified under 20 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1091c.

The law and regulations accord the post-secondary education student whose education was interrupted by voluntary or involuntary military service the right to readmission to the educational program. These requirements apply to any educational institution that participates in title IV federal student financial aid programs, including Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and the Federal Work-Study Program.

This applies to the student who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves and who is called to active duty for over 30 days involuntarily or volunteers for an extended period of active duty. It applies to the student who starts an educational program (often part-time) while on active duty and who then must interrupt the educational program because of a deployment or a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). It also applies to a student who interrupts his or her education to enlist in a regular component of the armed forces. Such a person is entitled, as a matter of federal law, to resume the educational program later, either during or after the person’s active duty service.

NOTE: Presidential Executive Order 13607 Expanded Coverage of 34 CFR 668.18 To Include Mobilizations of 30 Days or Fewer. See below for additional information.

EXTRA NOTE FOR RESERVE AND GUARD PERSONNEL: There may be instances where your active military service due to its short duration (or how mobilized for National Guard personnel) does not receive Federal education protection. In those cases, check to see what laws your state government has on this as they often provide additional protections. Some states even give the service member the ability to sue the school for violating the state’s law. There are currently 21 states that have their own laws in this area: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

For additional information see:

Policy Letters, Federal Law, State Laws, and Governing Policies [from Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) web site] http://www.soc.aascu.org/advocacy/activation-mobilization-support/policy-letters-federal-law-state-laws-and-governing-policies . SOC was established in 1972 to help meet the voluntary higher education needs of servicemembers. SOC is a Department of Defense (DoD) contractor supporting government-sponsored education programs funded through a DoD-managed contract with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Reserve Officers Association (ROA) LAW REVIEW LR No. 17019, March 2017: Presidential Executive Order 13607 Establishes Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members, April 27, 2012: Expanded Coverage of 34 CFR 668.18 To Include Mobilizations of 30 Days or Fewer https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/roa.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/LawReviews/2017/17019-LR.pdf

ROA LAW REVIEW No. 15039, May 2015: Federal Law Protects Students Called to the Colors during a Semester, But it Does not Help the Student who Must Miss a few Days for Drills or Annual Training
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/LawReviews/2015/15039-LR.pdf

ROA LAW REVIEW No. 15038, May 2015: Federal and State Laws Protect Students whose Educational Careers Are Interrupted by Military Service
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/LawReviews/2015/15038-LR.pdf (was really an update to No.13070)

ROA LAW REVIEW No. 13071, May 2013: New Washington State Law Protects Students who Are Members of the National Guard or Reserve
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/LawReviews/2013/13071-LR.pdf

ROA LAW REVIEW No. 13070, May 2013: Federal and State Laws Protect Students whose Educational Careers Are Interrupted by Military Service
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/LawReviews/2013/13070-LR.pdf (was updated under No. 15038 so 13070 is redundant now)

ROA LAW REVIEW No. 1052 is now No. 10052, – written in 2010: Readmission of Service members to Post-secondary Institutions - Details Regarding the Department of Education (DOE) Regulations Implementing the New Law on Mandatory Readmission of Mobilized Reserve and Guard and Active Duty Student
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/LawReviews/2010/10052-LR.pdf

See also U.S. Department of Education PowerPoint Readmission of Service members to Post-secondary Institutions http://graduatestudies.cua.edu/res/docs/Dept-of-EdReadmission-of-Servicemembers-Brief-formatted.pdf and Frequently Asked Questions: Institutional Readmission Requirements for Service members http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/guid/readmission.html


Commander Wayne L. Johnson, JAGC, Navy (Retired)
Alexandria, VA
wayneljohnson@hotmail.com

GI Bill 2.0: Offers Online Living Stipend

posted Apr 8, 2011, 10:17 PM by Info @NesloVentures   [ updated Apr 8, 2011, 10:20 PM by Neslo Ventures ]

Courtesy of Military.com

The latest version of the Post-9/11 GI Bill – GI Bill 2.0 – offers expanded benefits, especially for online students. Distant learners, as they are referred to by VA policy, were previously excluded from receiving the living (housing stipend) stipend unless they enrolled in at least one course per term in a classroom setting. Many veterans who desired to take 100 percent of their classes online were upset by this rule. Some took the obligatory single course in the classroom to get the stipend. Many chose not to enroll at all.

Starting next fall, Post-9/11 GI Bill eligible veterans will be able to get a monthly living stipend without having to take traditional classroom courses. The stipend for online students will be significantly different from the traditional classroom student version. Online students will get half of the national average stipend (average Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with Dependents). For example a full-time student who is taking 100 percent of his or her classes online will get $673.50 a month, while a full-time student taking at least one classroom course will get the full stipend rate based on the specific location of the school.

As a former online student, I can say that this is better than nothing. In fact, a school official told me that a large percentage of his students planned to drop their classroom courses and attend online only due to this change.

Of course nothing is without cost and legislation is no different. Congress is bound by a pay-as-you-go rule which means that the costs of any program like the Post-9/11 GI Bill 2.0 must be offset by new taxes or reductions in other areas. To help cover the cost of the GI Bill reforms, Congress chose to end the practice of paying benefits during school-breaks and changed the formula for the housing stipend payment rate.

Changes to Stipend Payment Formula — Veterans currently enrolled at a rate of better than half-time receive a full living stipend check. However, beginning October 1, 2011, the housing stipend will be prorated based on the student’s rate of pursuit. For example, a student enrolled at ¾ time will get ¾ of their living stipend – based on the location of their school. The new prorating factor applies to online students as well.

The reforms offer more veterans expanded options and opportunities to take vocational training, flight school, numerous certification exams, stipends for online learners, and the ability to tap into the VA’s OJT and Apprenticeship program.

Many of us who supported and pushed for GI Bill reform are disappointed that some vets will lose so others may gain. Which was exactly what the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs was trying to avoid.

Hopefully continued pressure from veterans will force the 112th Congress to continue forward on the ground work laid by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs last year.

Read: VA Offers More Details on GI Bill Changes.

President Signs GI Bill 2.0

posted Apr 8, 2011, 10:11 PM by Info @NesloVentures   [ updated Apr 8, 2011, 10:14 PM by Neslo Ventures ]

Courtesy of Military.com


President Obama has signed the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvement Act (GI Bill 2.0) into law. The reforms are being praised for streamlining the GI Bill – mainly by doing away with the state-by-state tuition and fee rates. However, the law also adds some complicating factors, like an annual cap which only applies to private schools and new housing stipend limits based on the number of classes a student takes each term.

Click here to learn more about the details of the upcoming changes.

While no one would argue the need for change, the bill comes with several trade-offs that some vets, and veterans program administrators, find hard to accept. Like most legislation there is always unintended consequences — both winners and losers.

The Winners:

  • National Guard members, who didn’t qualify under the old rules, can now use both AGR and title 32 time to count toward their Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility.
  • Active duty servicemembers and their eligible spouses will qualify for the $1000 annual book stipend.
  • Students attending 100 percent of their classes online (distance learning) can now qualify for a housing (living) stipend of up to $673.50 a month for full-time enrollment.
  • Veterans seeking degrees of all levels – under-grad through doctorate – will have 100 percent of the in-state tuition and fees paid by VA, as long as they attend a state operated (public) institution of higher learning. (Non-resident students will have to fund any tuition and fees which exceed the school’s in-state tuition rate).
  • Veterans seeking vocational, technical, certificate, on-the-job-training, and apprenticeship programs will be able to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • Veterans who need to take placement exams to apply for school (LSAT, GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT) will be eligible for reimbursement for the exam fees.
  • Eligible NOAA and USPHS personnel will be able to transfer Post-9/11 benefits to dependents.
  • Voc-Rehab participants will have the option to use their Post-9/11 housing stipend instead of the VR&E subsistence rate.

The Losers:

  • Veterans who must rely on the housing stipend to cover their living expenses during mandatory school break periods will find the payments end during such breaks.
  • Veterans enrolled at less than full-time will see their housing stipend prorated to match their rate of pursuit — the number of credit hours taken each term.
  • Veterans whose private school tuition exceeds $17,500 a year will have to find alternative means for covering their tuition.
    Note: Yellow Ribbon still applies and may be available to help cover the additional expenses.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs who is just now getting the kinks worked out with GI Bill 1.0. Some are forecasting that it will take up to 18 months to adapt the application and enrollment process to meet the new rules. Hopefully this won’t mean increased back logs and payment errors next fall when this new law goes into effect.

Note: Most of these changes go into effect in August and October of this year.

Some would argue that the trade-offs are necessary to cover the cost of expanding the benefits. But this is of little comfort to those who will find themselves on the losing end of these compromises.

White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters that the administration will work with Congress to continue improving this important program this coming year. Let’s hope we can hold them to that. Guess we’ll call the next one GI Bill 3.0.

New Military Spouse Scholarship

posted Apr 8, 2011, 10:07 PM by Info @NesloVentures   [ updated Jul 22, 2014, 9:33 PM by Neslo Ventures ]

ThanksUSA “thanks" the men and women of the United States armed forces by awarding need-based college, technical and vocational school scholarships for their children and spouses.

Applications are accepted each year from April 1st to May 15th


Visit ThanksUSA Scholarship Program webpage for application criteria and scholarship information.

To learn more about military education benefits, and find military-friendly education programs, visit the Military.com Education Channel.

Many Disabled Veterans Denied VA Educational Benefits

posted Apr 8, 2011, 9:51 PM by Info @NesloVentures   [ updated Apr 8, 2011, 9:54 PM by Neslo Ventures ]

Courtesy of Veterans Today


Are you a disabled veteran who would love the opportunity to become “rehabilitated” utilizing the infamous VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program?

 If the answer is ”yes”, let’s hope you fair better than the majority of disabled veterans who are being denied the educational benefits that is being “supposedly” offered by the program.

Many veterans who are discharged from active duty, and are diagnosed with a service-connected disability typically learn about VA Vocational Rehabilitation from a Veterans Benefits Counselor.

However, learning about the program does not necessarily mean that the VA will provide the necessary benefits that have been promised to disabled veterans. The services that the VA promises under the vocational rehabilitation program include:

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, interests, and needs
  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning
  • Employment services such as job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance
  • Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives
  • On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school
  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and referral
  • Independent living services

However, disabled veterans throughout the country, especially in South Florida are finding it extremely difficult to qualify for the benefits whether they are service-connected with 10% or 90%.  The eligibility requirements for disabled veterans to receive VR&E services are:

  • Have received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%
  • Submit a completed application for VR&E services

But the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are using policy as their reasoning for not helping disabled veterans. Many of the disabled veterans that have been questioned about their inability to receive the education benefits promised under the program, stated that they have been told by VA Counselors that they need to find jobs and prove that they can work before they can qualify.  

The disabled veteran is then given a brief period of a couple months to find the job without the Vocational Rehabilitation Program assistance, or be denied any benefits that the program offers. One counselor went as far as to counsel a disabled veteran to borrow a Sallie Mae educational loan in the amount of $40,000, and promise that the Vocational Rehabilitation will reimburse the loan company.

As you have probably already guessed, the loan company is now receiving payments from the veteran’s disability checks because VA refuses to pay back the loan company. The veteran stated that she has to make the payments because there were two cosigners on the loan, who would otherwise be responsible for the sum. This type of negligent behavior by the VA, and those who they hire to oversee veterans care is absolutely malicious and ludicrous.

It is quite evident that the VA needs to be police for their actions through the implementation of  a strict and unwavering checks and balances system in order to see where the benefits go that have not been passed on to veterans and disabled veterans. One can recall a couple of years ago when such benefits were discovered to be benefits to VA employees rather than the veterans. VA employees had used funds  to purchase computers, lingerie, services at casinos, luxury hotels, high-end retailers, Sharper Image, prostitution, gambling, breast implants, and for their personal trips, (see articles below).

How do these people live with themselves?

They live with themselves just fine with the knowledge that they are robbing disabled veterans of simple education benefits, and opting for their breast implants, boozing, and whoring. Since the media published the stories of fund violation, we have yet to hear government officials issuing reprimands for the employees who misappropriated and misspend funds (VA included). In essence, it seems that the violators only received a slap on the wrist and went on with life as usual.

Whatever the case now, disabled veterans are still being denied benefits, and should not have to beg for education benefits, or any other benefits that are owed to them for services rendered to their country. The VA needs to step up and honor their veterans in reality, rather than funding media advertisements that tells veterans about how much they do care for them.

Word of mouth is not worth much without actions behind those words. Give a veteran his or her education benefit instead of using policy excuses to justify why he or she cannot get that benefit. It’s about time we honor those who have served and continue to serve for the freedom that Americans continue to enjoy today.

It’s about time the VA pay attention to the educational rehabilitation of their disabled veterans, instead of calculating costs of medications and the number of disabled veterans they will be able to medicate in their next new hospital. Education benefits for veterans are essential in helping them to get back in the work force, and also in contributing to society in a meaningful way.

References 

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