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Chapter 35 – Survivors/Dependents Education Assistance


The Chapter 35 Program provides up to 45 months of entitlement for eligible spouses and dependent children to go to school and learn a career. The program provides a means to get a post-secondary education either as a traditional student in a classroom setting, or through one of many online options. Typical types of courses covered are:

  • College programs resulting in a degree
  • Trade, technical, licensure or certification training
  • On-the-job training/apprenticeships
  • Correspondence courses
  • Cooperative training
  • Overseas programs (leading toward a college degree).

Qualification Requirements

To qualify as a surviving spouse or dependent child, the sponsor – meaning the veteran – must be VA-rated as totally and permanently disabled (100%) as a result of a service-connected event, or by the passing of the disabled veteran. However, the requirements also extend to service members listed as missing in action, a prisoner of war, or held captive by a foreign power. The definition of a surviving spouse is straightforward, however, what constitutes a dependent child may not be. To qualify for the program, you are considered a dependent if you are under the age of 27 and:

  • a biological child of the military member,
  • adopted through the courts system or,
  • a legally adopted step-child.

Application Procedures

Submit VA Form 22-5490 from the eBenefits website or download the form, fill it out, and mail it to the VA Regional Office in Muskogee, Ok. The information is on the form.

Documentation Required for Chapter 35 Certification

  • VA Eligibility Letter (Certificate of Eligibility) must be addressed to the student.
  • Annual Certification Request for Military Benefits (See Veteran Services Forms)