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spouse and dependent benefits
Dependents of military service members also have benefits that can be used for education.
Dependents may qualify for both federal and state funding and TCC CMVE can help you determine the funding you qualify for. Please choose from the following list of benefits:
Chapter 35 Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance
Sons, daughters, spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran who dies on active duty, was released from active duty due to a service-connected disability, permanently and totally disabled, MIA, POW, or detained by a foreign government while on or in line of duty, may be eligible for benefits. Generally, the period of eligibility for a son or daughter is between the ages of 18 and 26 years. A spouse may use educational benefits during the 10 year period after eligibility is found. A surviving spouse may use these benefits during a 10 year period after the veteran's death, or 10 years after the DVA determines the veteran's death was caused by a service-connected disability, provided the surviving spouse does not remarry.
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP)
The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict.
Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Virginia National Guard Reserves. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism or as the result of a terrorist act, a peace-keeping mission, or any armed conflict after December 6, 1941.
The purpose of this program is to provide undergraduate or other postsecondary education free of tuition and fees, institutional charges, general or college fees, and books and supplies at any state-supported college or university in Virginia. Benefits are available for up to four years.
To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying military service members must meet the following requirements:
- The child must be between ages 16 and 29; There are no age restrictions for spouses.
- The military service member must have been a Virginia citizen at the time he or she entered active duty or must have been a Virginia citizen for at least five years immediately prior to the date of the application for admission.
- In the case of a deceased military service member the veterans surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements if he or she lived in Virginia for at least five years prior to marrying the military service member or has been a citizen of Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date of application.
In most cases, eligibility will be determined using documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. However, the veteran or surviving spouse may be asked to provide documentation verifying residency or the applicant's age or relationship. State income tax records, birth certificates, and/or marriage certificates are usually sufficient.
To continue receiving VMSDEP benefits, qualifying enrolled students must provide a letter to the Virginia Department of Veterans Services stating their continued enrollment, the period of time attended, and the period of time for which they are requesting benefits.
How to apply:
Persons interested in the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program can apply directly through the Virginia Department of Veterans Services or the Tidewater Community College Office of Veterans Affairs. Applications and more details can be obtained from the Virginia Department of Veterans' Services web-site.
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MYCAA: Military Career Advancement Accounts
MyCAA was established with Congressional authorization set forth in Public Law 110-417.
The DOD's expanded Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides $4,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are interested in pursuing degree programs, licenses, certifications and education leading to careers in high growth, high demand portable career fields. Portable careers are those that are likely to provide job opportunities in most locations where military service members are stationed. The Department of Labor Career One Stop Centers have a full list of targeted industries and occupations.
Spouses of active duty and activated National Guard and Reserve service members are eligible.The period of eligibility for spouses of Guard and Reserve members is from the date of the Alert or Warning Order for Military Recall or Mobilization, through activation and deployment, until 180 days following De-Mobilization.
Military spouses who are military members themselves are not eligible. Military spouses who are legally separated by state law or court order are also not eligible.
As of October 2010, MyCAA funding was reinstated, with the following new program guidelines:
- Spouse of an active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine service member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, or O1-O2.
- Spouse of an activated Reserve member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2.
If the spouse of National Guard and/or AGR member, the sponsor must be on federal Title 10 active duty orders as reported in DEERS.
- Spouses of Guard/Reserve members in an Alert, Transition Assistance, or Post Deployment status are not eligible.
- MyCAA accounts will be limited to the new $4,000 maximum benefit with a $2000 fiscal year cap.
- Waivers to the fiscal year cap will be available for spouses pursuing licensure or credentials with a cost that exceeds the $2,000 fiscal year cap up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000.
- Spouses must finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course.
- Funding is limited to only Associate’s degrees, credentials and licensure programs.
- If information is needed regarding other sources of financial assistance, you may contact a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647.
Tidewater Community College is one of the schools approved to provide education and training through MyCAA.
To begin the MyCAA process:
- Visit the TCC, Center for Military and Veterans Education, on the Virginia Beach campus for assistance with career planning, enrollment, employment, and other available students services for spouses and dependents. The CMVE is a one stop shop for TCC's military-related students.
Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
757-822-7645 or toll free 1-866-921-6289
- Once you have met with a CMVE counselor, you may apply for MyCAA by going to: https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/Registration/Register.aspx
- Follow the steps in the MyCAA student registration process. You will be asked during the process to create a MyCAA account after your eligibility for the program is verified with DEERS.
- Please note that if you need help with this process you can call the SECO Consultant for MyCAA at 800-342-9647.
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