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News & Press: Benefits

Education Benefits Expansion Q&A

Monday, October 20, 2014  
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From the DOD/VA Survivor Forum the following information was given.

Points of interest:

  • VA using DEERS to identify eligible for expansion.  (very important beneficiaries ensure addresses are correct in DEE
  • 1st application date 11/3/2014
  •  First payments for school Periods beginning 1/1/2015. (example given: if the class goes from Nov to Feb currently on ch35 first payments will begin under Fry in new session after FEB)
  • PAPER APPLICATIONS ONLY!!!!!!!! AT THIS TIME. Fax or mail in using form
  • Call 888-442-4551 to get application.
  • ALL eligible for the FRY Expansion currently on Ch 35 MUST declare Irrevocable election IN WRITING by January  or chapter 35 payments will cease
  • VA expects a 10-15 Day processing time for Certificates of Eligibility (expansion eligible).
  • Eligibility is RETRO to 9/11 payments are NOT.

GSW recently received an updated Q&A  to this information from questions asked at the Survivor Forum: 


1.      Will divorce or death after remarriage nullify non-entitlement to Fry for spouses? TBD, we are confirming within VA.


2.      Example: Current DEA has 20 months remaining and must make irrevocable election before Jan. 1 to receive Fry. He or she will be attending school after Jan. 1, 2015.  If so, what is the total number of months he or she can use? Will he or she get all 36 months of Fry? They would get all 36 months of Fry for a total of 81 months, but must make an irrevocable election before Jan 1. to receive a payment for either.


3.      Will the DEA application be updated so that a DEA applicant has to make an irrevocable election between Fry and Ch. 35? Yes although we cannot report when due to our development schedule.


4.      Pls confirm: a spouse will be eligible for DIC and Fry if he or she elects Fry? TBD, to the best of our knowledge they can receive both but we are confirming within VA.


5.      Application: will they have to print, write in, scan, and send or will it be a fillable PDF? An applicant can fill the application out electronically as a PDF then mail, fax, or email the application to VA.  


6.      For a spouse eligible for both Fry and DEA, but not using either: Will VA contact them and ask them to make an irrevocable election before January? No.


7.      For a Veteran who is entitled to the Post-9/11 GI Bill through his or her own service, will the irrevocable election between 35 and Fry nullify his or her entitlement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill? No.


The following handout was given at the Survivor Forum regarding this expansion.



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