Benefits for Spouses & Dependents

The GI Bill provides education benefits to veterans as well as their spouses and dependents.  Please see below for further information.

Change of Law

The period of eligibility for spouses of service members who died on active duty expires 20 years form the date of death. This is a change in law that became effective Dec. 10, 2004. Spouses of service members who died on active duty whose 10-year eligibility period expired Dec. 10, 2004, now have 20 years from the date of death to use educational benefits.


Chapter 35 - Survivors and Dependents Education Benefits

Survivors of deceased veterans, spouses of living veterans and children of either who are between 18 and 26 years of age may be eligible if the veteran's death or permanent/total disability was the result of service in the Armed Forces. Eligibility of spouses generally extends to 10 years from the date of death or establishment of total disability. In certain cases, the age limit for children may be extended. For detailed program descriptions go to

REPS (Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors)

REPS benefits are a restoration of Social Security benefits that were reduced or terminated by the Omnibus Act (1981). The DVA pays the benefits to certain surviving spouses or children between 18 and 22 of a veteran who either died on active duty before August 13, 1981.

For eligibility information, contact the Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA) at 1-800-827-1000.

Educational Gratuity Program (for dependents)

The applicant must be the child of a veteran whose 100% disability is war or armed conflict service-connected, or who died while on active duty or as a result of service-connected disability, hostile fire, or a terrorist attack during peacetime, as determined the Dept. of Military Affairs. An applicant must be between the ages of 16 and 24, a resident of Pennsylvania for 5 years immediately prior to filing for the benefit, attend an approved PA state institution and demonstrate financial need.

Contact the PA Dept. of Military Affairs, Ft. Indiantown Gap, at 717-861-8910.