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.
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 www.gibill.va.gov/education/benefits.htm
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.
Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PHEAA administers this tuition assistance program for dependents (spouses and children) of PA Guard Members who enter into an additional 6-year service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard.
To be considered for the MFEP, you must be:
A Guard Member:
- Someone who completed an initial service obligation, on or after July 1, 2019, in the Pennsylvania National Guard and be eligible to reenlist in the Pennsylvania National Guard for a period of 6 years
A Family Member:
- Someone who is a spouse or child of a Pennsylvania National Guard member who meets the above criteria and has assigned the benefit to the family member.
- Someone who is enrolled in a degree or certificate-granting program of study at an approved Pennsylvania institution
Undergraduates and Graduates Full-Time Attendance, the lesser of:
100% of the tuition plus technology fee at the institution where you are enrolled OR The annual tuition rate and technology fee charged to a Pennsylvania resident at a state-owned university
Undergraduates and Graduates Part-Time Attendance, the lesser of:
100% of the tuition plus technology fee for a part-time course of study OR The per credit tuition rate charged to a Pennsylvania resident at a state-owned university plus technology fee
- The MFEP grant can be used for a degree-granting curriculum or certificate-granting, course of study, or training programs required for entrance into a specific career as determined by PHEAA at an approved PHEAA institution of higher learning for up to 5 academic years.
- The PA Guard Member can assign the entire benefit to one dependent or a portion of the benefit to more than one dependent.
- If you fail to honor the service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard, you must repay your total MFEP award amount, plus interest.
Length of Dependent Eligibility
- A spouse can use the assigned MFEP benefit up to 6 years after the member’s separation from the PA Guard.
- Children can use the assigned MFEP benefit before reaching 26 years of age.