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Special Processing Unit March 24, 2015 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION Special Processing Unit March 24, 2015 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Agenda • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35) • Fry Scholarship (Post-9/11 Agenda • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35) • Fry Scholarship (Post-9/11 GI Bill) • Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 1

Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program – DEA (Chapter 35) • Educational assistance to spouses and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program – DEA (Chapter 35) • Educational assistance to spouses and children of a veteran who: • Died as a result of a service connected (SC) disability, • Died while rated permanently and totally ( P&T) disabled due to a service connected disability, • Rated P&T resulting from a SC disability OR • Is on active duty that dies in the line-of-duty as determined by the Department of Defense, • Is on active duty that is listed as MIA or as a POW VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 2

Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program – DEA (Chapter 35) • Who qualifies for Chapter 35? Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program – DEA (Chapter 35) • Who qualifies for Chapter 35? – Spouses- currently married to veteran – Surviving spouses- married to veteran at the time of death *The spouse must be on the Compensation and Pension award before Chapter 35 eligibility can be determined. – Children • Biological- birth certificate • Legally adopted- adoption decree • Stepchild who acquired the status before 18 - marriage certificate of veteran and parent and birth certificate with parent listed VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 3

Direct Deposit Chapter 35 has allowed Direct Deposit effective February 3, 2012 Chapter 35 Direct Deposit Chapter 35 has allowed Direct Deposit effective February 3, 2012 Chapter 35 beneficiaries can now have their education benefits directly deposited into their bank account. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 4

Chapter 35 Processing: Improving Timeliness • Include veteran file number and claimant SSN on Chapter 35 Processing: Improving Timeliness • Include veteran file number and claimant SSN on VA Form 22 -1999 - veteran file number may be either a C-number or a SSN • Submit all enrollment terms for approved VA programs, VA will determine if the claimant is eligible for retroactive benefits. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 5

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children • Effective August 1, 2010, VA began issuing Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children • Effective August 1, 2010, VA began issuing payments under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) for children only • The payments are retroactive with enrollment periods beginning on or after August 1, 2009 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 6

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children A qualifying child is a child of an Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children A qualifying child is a child of an active duty member in the Armed Forces who dies in the line of duty* on or after 9/11/01: • The child can be married • Individuals 23 and above where eligibility has been established prior to turning 23 will remain eligible until age 33 VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 7

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children If the child is eligible for Chapter 33 Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children If the child is eligible for Chapter 33 in their own right: Must relinquish a benefit if they are eligible under Chapter 30, Chapter 1606, or Chapter 1607 on or after August 1, 2009 in order to receive benefits under Fry Scholarship If the child is on active duty he/she will receive benefits at the active duty benefit rate, and will be eligible for unlimited Tuition and Fees. However, they will not be eligible for a Monthly Housing Allowance. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 8

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children • Elections: – Individuals electing to use Fry Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children • Elections: – Individuals electing to use Fry Scholarship benefits lose eligibility for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits – A child cannot establish eligibility for Fry and DEA (Chapter 35) benefits based upon a parent’s death § An election is required between DEA and Fry § The VA will send the claimant an Election Letter explaining the options VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 9

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children Applying for benefits: VONAPP Version has not changed: Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children Applying for benefits: VONAPP Version has not changed: see below, Section III, field 18 B Chapter 33 says “yes” “Yes” in box 18 b indicates the claimant is applying for FRY. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 10

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children Applying for benefits: • New Version of VA Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children Applying for benefits: • New Version of VA Form 22 -5490 dated October 2014 Paper Version, Part IV, Section II, Box 25 B VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 11

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children Entitlement: • Entitled to 36 months of benefits Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children Entitlement: • Entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100% Benefit Level • Individuals have 15 years from their 18 th birthday to use benefits, not to exceed 33 years of age • Benefits can be used prior to age 18 if high school has been completed • Individuals are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 12

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 Section 701 – Fry Scholarship Expansion • Expands the Fry Scholarship to include the surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses • VA started accepting applications from surviving spouses Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses • VA started accepting applications from surviving spouses for the Fry Scholarship on November 3, 2014. • Effective date – January 1, 2015. o Not retroactive o For training beginning on or after January 1, 2015. o Enrollment periods that span January 1, 2015, cannot be paid under Fry. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses VA has identified surviving spouses eligible for both Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses VA has identified surviving spouses eligible for both programs and has sent them a letter with comparative information on the benefits available and instructions on how to make an election. If a DEA enrollment certification is received for eligible spouse for terms beginning after December 31, 2014 – VA is required to request election before processing. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 15

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses • If old application (VA Form 5490 ) Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses • If old application (VA Form 5490 ) is received - VA is required to request an election before processing. • Development letter includes DEA/FRY Benefit Comparison enclosure VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 16

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Election required • An irrevocable election in writing Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Election required • An irrevocable election in writing between DEA and Fry must be received for terms beginning on or after January 1, 2015. • Applicable even if spouse never previously received DEA benefits and even if entitlement arises from separate events. • Individuals should carefully consider eligibility & entitlement and own circumstances (marriage plans) before making a decision. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 17

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Remarriage is a bar to eligibility: • Before Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Remarriage is a bar to eligibility: • Before January 1, 2015 – ineligible • After January 1, 2015 - eligibility expires on date of remarriage. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 18

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses • Application – Only the paper version of Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses • Application – Only the paper version of the VA Form 225490 effective October 2014 has been updated to contain provisions for a spouse to elect the Fry scholarship. • The VONAPP version has not been updated. If a spouse applies through VONAPP the VA will request an irrevocable election in writing. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 19

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouse Applying for benefits: • New Paper Version of Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouse Applying for benefits: • New Paper Version of VA Form 22 -5490 dated October 2014 Part IV, Section 1, Box 24 B VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 20

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Long Term Solution (LTS) Processing: • All claims Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Long Term Solution (LTS) Processing: • All claims for Fry Spouses will be off-ramped and paid manually until functionality is included to allow for automation. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 21

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Entitlement • Entitled to 36 months of the Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Spouses Entitlement • Entitled to 36 months of the Fry Scholarship, regardless of how many months of DEA have been used. • Limited to maximum of 48 months combined with one or more other education benefits, except DEA • May be eligible for up to 81 months in combination with DEA • Eligibility period – up to 15 years after the line of duty death to use these benefits. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 22

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children and Spouses Benefits include: • Tuition and Fees Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children and Spouses Benefits include: • Tuition and Fees • Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) • Kickers: only payable when the claimant relinquishes the benefit for the child currently has kicker eligibility in order to receive Fry Scholarship. The child is not eligible to receive the deceased parent’s kickers. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 23

Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children and Spouses Benefits continued… • • • Books Fry Scholarship – Chapter 33 Children and Spouses Benefits continued… • • • Books and Supplies Stipend LAC (more than 1 exam after 08/01/11) Tutorial Assistance Rural benefit Effective 10/01/11: Correspondence, OJT, NCD, Apprenticeship, and Flight VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 24

Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) • PL 106 -398 allowed VA to pay Chapter 30 Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) • PL 106 -398 allowed VA to pay Chapter 30 benefits to supplement Tuition Assistance benefits paid by the military effective November 30, 2000. • Tuition assistance authorization forms are submitted directly to VA. Forms vary by service department. • Enrollment certifications should not be submitted for courses for which a student is in receipt of TATU. If enrollment and TA Forms are received for the same period VCEs must then call schools for clarity. • TATU benefits are paid in a lump sum directly to the student. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 25

Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) • PL 110 -252 allowed VA to pay Chapter 33 Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) • PL 110 -252 allowed VA to pay Chapter 33 benefits to supplement Tuition Assistance benefits paid by the military effective August 1, 2009. • Tuition assistance authorization forms are submitted directly to VA. Forms vary by service department. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 26

Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) • Enrollment certifications should be submitted for courses for which Tuition Assistance Top-Up (TATU) • Enrollment certifications should be submitted for courses for which a student is in receipt of TATU. However, the Federal and State TA benefits should be deducted from the net tuition and fee charges. • The remarks section of the Chapter 33 enrollment certifications should include the course paid by TA. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 27

Accelerated Payments • Accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of 60% of tuition Accelerated Payments • Accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of 60% of tuition and fees for certain high cost, high tech programs. • For 1606 & 1607 it applies to non-college degree programs that are less than two years. • If there isn’t enough entitlement to cover 60% of tuition and fees, VA will pay based on actual remaining entitlement. • Payments are paid one semester, quarter, or term at a time. If a program isn’t offered on a semester, quarter, or term basis, the accelerated payment is paid for the entire program. VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 28

Questions? VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 29 Questions? VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION 29