For the 2021 fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ proposed budget amounts to $243.3 billion. If granted, it will raise both mandatory and discretionary funding for U.S. vets. The proposed allotment will also increase the benefits for children of veterans.
The VA’s budget has, in fact, seen a continued spike within the past five years now. This year’s budget also involved mandatory and discretionary funding increases. And just like next year’s proposal, the 2020 F.Y. budget also factored in Veteran dependents.
Ready to learn more about what these benefits are and how to qualify for them? Then please keep reading as that’s exactly what this post is all about!
Children of Veterans Benefits
1. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
DIC is a monthly, tax-free benefit paid to eligible survivors of military personnel. The children, spouses, and even parents of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty can qualify for DIC. The same goes for family members of vets who passed away due to a service-related disease or injury.
In 2019, VA.gov reported that there were 453,000 recipients of DIC. Surviving spouses accounted for the majority of the beneficiaries, at 96%. However, 3% of surviving children of Veterans also qualified for the program.
2. Higher Monthly Compensation for Disabled Veterans With Dependents
The monthly V.A. benefits paid to disabled living Veterans can go up if they have dependents. This applies to Servicemen living with a disability rating of at least 30%. As with the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, this is also tax-free.
3. CHAMPVA Health Care Benefits for Children of Veterans
Children of Veterans can also qualify for CHAMPVA. It stands for the “Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.”
CHAMPVA is a comprehensive program that delivers health care benefits. With this, eligible surviving family members of Vets share health care costs with the V.A. Qualified beneficiaries can also get assistance for necessary health care supplies.
4. TRICARE Health Care Benefits
TRICARE is another comprehensive health coverage for family members of certain Veterans. These include the following retirees or deceased:
- Service member
- National Guard soldier
- Medal of Honor recipient
TRICARE provides coverage for health care services, dental plans, and prescription medicines. It also offers specific benefits to children of Vets with special needs.
TRICARE is a program managed by the Department of Defense. Also, please note that those qualified for TRICARE may no longer qualify for CHAMPVA.
5. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
As a son or daughter of a Veteran, you may qualify for PCAFC. With this, you can obtain necessary caregiver education and training. You can receive counseling as well as mental health services.
The PCAFC can also provide the following benefits for caregiving children of veterans:
- Travel and lodging cost coverage when traveling with the Veteran for healthcare purposes
- Financial assistance for healthcare-related travels with the Veteran
- Monthly stipend
The PCAFC does require both the child and the Veteran to apply together. The Vet must also need continuous personal care services for no shorter than six months.
6. The Camp Lejeune Family Member Program
This is another healthcare-based survivor benefits for children of veterans from the V.A. One of the key qualifications is that your parent must have served at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The program also qualifies children of those who served at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in N.C.
In addition, you must have lived with your Veteran parent in any of these two places for at least 30 straight days. This should have occurred between August 1953 and December 1987. The drinking water in these places during that time was later on found to have contaminants.
Studies revealed that Camp Lejeune had a 10% higher cancer rate than Camp Pendleton. Camp Pendleton never had its water contaminated.
A few of the other diseases linked to the contaminants include the following:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Cancers of the bladder, kidney, and liver
- Parkinson’s disease
With that said, you may qualify for V.A. health care benefits if you’ve developed any of these diseases.
7. Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Benefits Program
A study found that minor birth defects were in 22% of the children of deployed Gulf War-era Veterans. This is 17% higher than the 5% prevalence in the children of non-deployed women.
Other studies found that women Gulf War-era Veterans developed many reproductive issues. A considerable portion of their children also developed diseases.
Because of this, programs are now available for those who deal with these health problems. One of these is the Children of Women Vietnam Veterans (CWVV) Health Care Benefits Program. It covers necessary treatment for a VA-covered birth defect and other associated conditions.
8. Chapter 35 Educational Benefits
Among the primary V.A. education benefits for children of Vets is Chapter 35. If you qualify, you can get education and training, as well as money to pay for your tuition fees. The department can even help you cover the cost of school books, supplies, and housing.
There are two main V.A. educational programs available. First is the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship. Children of Servicemembers who died on duty after September 10, 2001, can qualify.
The second is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. This provides educational and training benefits to the dependents of disabled Veterans. Children of Vets (who died on active duty or due to a service-related condition) may also qualify.
9. Post 9/11 GI Benefits for Children of Veterans
Your Veteran parent can also transfer their unused 9/11 GI benefits over to you. If the DoD approves, you may be able to get up to 36 months of benefits. You can then use the granted money to pay for your tuition fees, school books, supplies, as well as housing.
10. Burial Benefits
The children of Veterans may also receive assistance for the burial of their parents. If you’re paying for the funeral costs, consider applying for this benefit. You may qualify if there’s no other organization or agency that will reimburse your costs.
You can use the allowance that you will receive to help cover burial and funeral costs. You can also use it to pay for the gravesite or the internment. In addition, the money can go toward the costs to transport the Vet’s remains to the burial grounds.
11. V.A. Survivors Pension
Children of wartime Veterans may also qualify for a monthly pension. If you are single and under the age of 18, you may be eligible to get this financial aid every month.
You may also qualify if you are between 19 and 23 years old and enrolled in a VA-approved school. If you have a disability that occurred before you turned 18, then you may also apply for this program. In this case, you need to provide proof to the V.A. that you need assistance in taking care of yourself.
12. Other Military Scholarships for Children of Veterans
Many other U.S. organizations offer scholarships and grants to the children of veterans. The amount that they provide vary, and some are location-specific. Others require the beneficiaries to attend specific schools.
Here are some of the scholarships and grants available to the kids of our nation’s heroes.
- American Legion Legacy Scholarship
- AMVETS Scholarships
- Ankin Law Office Scholarship for Military Veterans
- Air Force Aid Society General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program
- Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program
- Coast Guard Exchange System Scholarship Program
- Fisher House Foundation Scholarship Programs
Please note that these are just a few of the educational aids that you may qualify for. Each state also runs its own programs designed to help the kids of our Vets.
In the Golden State, for instance, children of Vets can apply for the CalVet Fee Waiver. This is a program run by the California State University. This enables students to get an education at the CSU without paying for tuition fees.
13. Home Loan Guaranty
The Chapter 6 Home Loan Guaranty is a federal home loan guaranty for Veterans and their spouses. It can help them purchase homes or refinance loans. Qualified borrowers can also use the loan to purchase condominiums or manufactured homes.
On that note, the home loan benefit does not extend to the surviving kids of Veterans and service members. However, a dependent child may help satisfy the program’s occupancy requirement.
Get the Financial or Educational Help You Need Now
As you can see, there are many benefits for children of Veterans in the U.S. From pensions to school grants and healthcare; you may qualify for all these programs. Aside from the Veterans Affairs, your state or local governments may also help.
The National Veterans Foundation can help with more information and resources. Please don’t hesitate to connect with us so that we can assist you in getting the benefits you deserve.