Every April, the nation celebrates the Month of the Military Child – a time that honors all military children for their dedication and sacrifices. At VA, we honor military children year-round by providing them earned benefits. Dependents and surviving children of Veterans and service members may qualify for certain benefits, such as life insurance, education services and health care.
Dependent children may qualify for Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) coverage if the service member is on active duty and covered by full-time Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), or is a member of the National Guard or Ready Reserve and covered by full-time SGLI. There is no cost for coverage up to $10,000 for each dependent child. Beneficiaries of a Veteran’s or service member’s policy can also receive free financial planning and online will preparation services.
Dependent children, using benefits transferred by an eligible Veteran or service member, qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefit for up to 36 months to help pay for school or training.
VA may also be able to help pay for school or job training through the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education and Assistance (DEA) Program (Chapter 35). Additionally, DEA offers monthly payments to help cover the cost of degrees, certificates, correspondence courses and apprenticeships for children between the ages of 18 and 26 of a Veteran or service member.
Children of a parent who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, may be eligible to apply for The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship), which offers money for tuition, housing, books and supplies.
Unmarried adult dependent children and minor dependent children can apply for burial in a VA national cemetery even if the service member or Veteran has already passed away. Eligible dependent children may also qualify for grief counseling and transition support.
Unmarried dependent children of deceased wartime Veterans who meet certain income and net worth limits set by Congress may qualify for monthly payments through VA’s Survivors Pension program.
VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit available to surviving children of service members who died in the line of duty or Veterans who died from a service-related injury or illness.
Dependent children of an active-duty, retired or deceased service member, National Guard member, Reservist or Medal of Honor recipient may qualify for the TRICARE program, which offers comprehensive health care coverage.
Children of Veterans with disabilities or service members who died in the line of duty may also be eligible for insurance through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), which covers some of the cost of health care services and supplies.
VA serves and honors Veterans by supporting their families and survivors with world-class benefits and services. Learn more about the benefits and services available to military children at: https://www.va.gov/family-member-benefits/.
Michael Frueh is the principal deputy under secretary for benefits with the Veterans Benefits Administration.