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Understanding Chapter 35 VA Benefits Pay Scale 2023 For Veterans' Dependents

Last updated: November 18, 2023

Serving on active duty in the Army, Navy, or other military branches demands immense dedication and sacrifice. In acknowledgment of the valor, resilience, and commitment exhibited by veterans, the U.S. federal government offers a range of financial aid options and assorted benefits. Many of these provisions can also extend to the veterans' dependents. A prime illustration of this is the Chapter 35 benefits. As we step into 2023, there are anticipated changes and updates to the VA benefits, particularly in the realm of education. 

This guide examines the Chapter 35 VA Benefits Pay Scale 2023 in detail, offering insights into eligibility, types of education covered, and the expected pay scales. 

What Are Chapter 35 VA Benefits?

Chapter 35 VA Benefits, also known as the Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) program, is an education benefit designed for eligible spouses and children (dependents) of certain veterans. These benefits are intended to provide financial support for educational and training opportunities, including:

  • College, technical, or vocational degree programs

  • Independent study, online distance learning, or correspondence courses

  • High school diploma or GED programs

  • Educational and career counseling programs

  • Apprenticeships

  • On-the-job training

  • Career training certificate courses

It's important to note that all DEA education benefits are capped at 45 months if the first use of benefits was before August 1, 2018, and 36 months if the first use of benefits was after August 1, 2018.

Overview Of The Pay Scale For 2023

For the academic year spanning from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024, the Chapter 35 VA benefits rates, also known as the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) rates, have been updated. The VA determines these rates based on two primary factors:

  1. The type of education or training the beneficiary is receiving.

  2. The number of courses taken or the progress in on-the-job training or apprenticeship programs.

Here's a detailed breakdown of the 2023 to 2024 Chapter 35 benefits rates:

For Institutions of Higher Learning (Colleges and Universities):

  • Full-Time Enrollment: $1,488 for each full month

  • 3/4-Time Enrollment: $1,176 for each full month

  • 1/2-Time Enrollment: $862 for each full month

  • Less Than 1/2-Time And More Than 1/4-Time Enrollment: $862 for each full month (or the cost of tuition and fees, whichever is less)

  • 1/4-Time Enrollment Or Less: $372 for each full month (or the cost of tuition and fees, whichever is less)

For Non-College Degree Programs (Trade and Vocational Schools):

  • Full-Time Enrollment: $1,488 for each full month

  • 3/4-Time Enrollment: $1,176 for each full month

  • 1/2-Time Enrollment: $862 for each full month

  • Less Than 1/2-Time And More Than 1/4-Time Enrollment: $862 for each full month (or the cost of tuition and fees, whichever is less)

  • 1/4-Time Enrollment Or Less: $372 for each full month (or the cost of tuition and fees, whichever is less)

For On-The-Job Training and Apprenticeships:

  • Months 1 to 6: $945 for each full month

  • Months 7 to 12: $710 for each full month

  • Months 13 to 18: $466 for each full month

  • More Than 19 Months: $237 for each full month

For Correspondence Training:

  • The VA will pay 55% of the established cost for the number of lessons completed by mail, online, or other methods. Only spouses using Chapter 35 benefits can avail of correspondence training, while children are not eligible.

For Special Restorative Training:

  • Full-Time Attendance: $1,488 each month. Only children using Chapter 35 benefits can avail of special restorative training, while spouses are not eligible.

It's essential to note that the amounts listed for each category are for a full month of enrollment. If enrolled for a partial month, the VA will prorate the payment based on the number of days of enrollment in that month.

Monthly Payment Rates

Understanding the monthly payment rates is essential for budgeting and planning. These rates can vary based on several factors, including the type of service and the specific benefit program. Let's break down these rates to provide clarity on what veterans' dependents can expect in 2023.

Active Duty Rates

As of the information available, specific active duty rates for Chapter 35 VA Benefits in 2023 have not been provided. However, it's essential to regularly check the official VA website or consult with a VA representative for the most up-to-date information.

Service-Connected Disability Rates

Eligible dependents can receive benefits if the veteran or service member has a 100 percent permanent and total VA rating due to one or more service-connected disabilities. The exact rates for 2023 are yet to be determined, but they will be based on the severity of the disability and other factors.

Fry Scholarship Rates

The Fry Scholarship provides education benefits for dependents of service members who died in the line of duty. The VA covers the full in-state tuition costs for training at public schools and up to $26,381.37 per year at private or foreign schools.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Rates

The Post-9/11 GI Bill offers benefits for tuition, housing, and other education costs. The exact rates for 2023 are yet to be released, but they will be based on the school's location, the type of program, and other factors.

Eligibility Requirements For VA Benefits In 2023

Eligibility is a key aspect of VA benefits. Not all veterans or their dependents automatically qualify for every benefit. In this segment, we'll outline the specific requirements for 2023, ensuring that you have a clear roadmap to determine your eligibility.

Active Duty Status Requirements

To be eligible for VA disability compensation, one must have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. A service-connected condition, which refers to an illness or injury caused by—or worsened due to—active military service, is also a prerequisite for eligibility.

Disability Compensation Or Benefits Eligibility Requirements

For VA disability compensation, the following criteria must be met:

  • You have a current illness or injury (known as a condition) that affects your mind or body.

  • You served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

Additionally, at least one of the following must be true:

  • You became sick or injured while serving in the military, and you can link this condition to your illness or injury (referred to as an in-service disability claim).

  • You had an illness or injury before joining the military, and your service exacerbated it (known as a pre-service disability claim).

  • You have a disability related to your active-duty service that manifested after your service ended (termed a post-service disability claim).

Certain conditions are automatically presumed to have been caused by service, eliminating the need for proof. These are known as presumptive conditions. Examples include chronic illnesses appearing within a year after discharge, illnesses due to contact with contaminants, and conditions resulting from time spent as a prisoner of war.

On-The-Job Training And Job Training Programs Eligibility Requirements

If you qualify for the GI Bill and wish to work in an industry or job that offers on-the-job training, you may be eligible for benefits. Examples of such professions include:

  • Plumbing

  • Hotel management

  • Firefighting

The following individuals are covered:

  • Veterans

  • Spouses and children receiving benefits through the Fry Scholarship or the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program.

  • Children benefiting from transferred benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33).

However, active-duty service members and spouses using transferred benefits cannot avail on-the-job training.

Education Benefits Eligibility Requirements

For on-the-job training and apprenticeships, the GI Bill training programs can assist in covering costs for books, supplies, and housing. Specifically, beneficiaries can receive:

  • Money for books and supplies

  • Housing allowance, if using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits

Types Of Education Covered By VA Benefits In 2023

The VA education benefits are designed to assist Veterans, service members, and their qualified family members in achieving their educational and training goals. These benefits cover a wide range of educational opportunities, ensuring that beneficiaries can pursue the type of education that best suits their needs and aspirations. Here's a breakdown of the types of education covered by VA benefits:

  1. GI Bill And Other Education Benefits: The GI Bill is one of the most well-known VA education benefits, offering financial assistance for various educational and training programs. Beneficiaries can:

  • Learn how the GI Bill works and explore options to pay for school or training.

  • Determine their eligibility for the GI Bill or other VA education benefits.

  • Prepare and apply for the GI Bill or other VA education and training benefits.

  • Check the status of their application and understand the next steps.

  1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services: For those who qualify, the VA offers vocational rehabilitation services. These services help beneficiaries explore employment options, determine any necessary training, and access other vocational rehabilitation resources.

  2. Educational And Career Counseling: Veterans transitioning from active service, those discharged within the past year, and beneficiaries eligible for VA education benefits can access free educational and career counseling services.

  3. Benefits For Dependents And Survivors: Dependents and survivors may be eligible for education benefits through specific GI Bill programs.

  4. Additional GI Bill Benefits: For those not eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA offers other education benefit programs tailored for Veterans and members of the National Guard or Reserve.

  5. Management Of Benefits: Beneficiaries can manage their VA education benefits in various ways, such as:

  • Viewing their payment history.

  • Checking the remaining GI Bill benefits.

  • Verifying school enrollment.

  • Transferring unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependents.

  • Requesting changes to their GI Bill program or transferring benefits to a new school or training program.

  1. Resources And Information: The VA provides a wealth of resources and information to help beneficiaries make informed decisions about their education. These include:

  • Comparing GI Bill benefits by school.

  • Checking rate tables for various VA education benefits programs.

  • Searching for schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

  • Comparing education benefits for different groups, such as Veterans, service members, and members of the National Guard and Reserve.

  • Accessing resources for choosing a college or training program.

  • Finding resources for career path planning during the transition to civilian life.

  • Addressing questions about GI Bill overpayments and managing VA education debt.

Understanding Chapter 35 VA Benefits Pay Scale 2023

The VA offers a range of benefits to veterans and their dependents, each with its own set of eligibility requirements. It's crucial to stay informed about these requirements to maximize the benefits available. Chapter 35 VA Benefits provide crucial financial support for the educational aspirations of veterans' dependents. It's essential to stay informed about the latest rates and changes to maximize the benefits available. Always consult the official VA website or a VA representative for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Find VA benefits lawyers near you to get the legal support you need by checking out our detailed guide. Visit Disability Help and browse through the available resources to learn more.

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Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
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