By Kathleen Ramirez |Staff Writer|
Previously there was an article printed in the volume 4 issue of the Coyote Chronicle, week of February tenth, titled “College benefits for veterans” which contained a few inaccuracies. The following is an attempt to correct those inaccuracies regarding veteran college benefits, specifically focusing on the College Fee Waiver and Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill).
There is a number of Military benefits available to veteran students and their immediate families, but among the most commonly used are the College Fee Waiver and the Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill).
The College Fee Waiver is available to sons, daughters, dependents and spouses of military veterans who have a minimum disability rating of zero percent or more from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
This waiver only applies to California residents and those who qualify may be eligible to receive benefits under four different plans.
“The service member has to have the disability, not the dependent if they have a disability rating through the department of veteran affairs,” said Interim Director Agustin Ramirez.
Basic requirements to qualify for the Cal Vet Fee Waiver are, having a parent who is a considered a disabled veteran by the Department of Veterans Affairs and has a minimum of zero percent rating, or the veteran must have died in combat and the minor/dependent receiving the benefit cannot make more than $12,316 per year, according to the California Department of Veteran Affairs.
Also, they must be attending a California Community College, California State University or University of California school, and dependent must meet in-state residency requirements and provide proof of relation to a veteran who is completely disabled or deceased due to military service.
Plan A applies to family members of a completely service-connected disabled or gave their life in service.
The veteran must have served during a time of war or awarded a Campaign or Expeditionary Medal.
In addition, to qualify under Plan A, a child must be under the age of 27 if he or she is also a veteran the age limit is extended to 30.
With Plan B there is no age limit for a child of a veteran who was injured in the line of duty or died due to service-related injuries.
Another stipulation for Plan B is the child’s income cannot be above the national poverty level.
Plan C is available for dependents, including surviving spouse and Registered Domestic Partner (RDP), of California National Guard members who are a non-remarried living spouse, or (RDP) of a member of the National Guard who is permanently disabled or died while serving under the veterans Code Section 146.
According to the California Department of Veteran Affairs, Plan D is offered to those who received the Medal of Honor and children of Medal of Honor recipients that are under 27 years of age.
Assistance under Plan D is confined to undergraduate studies only, and those who apply are subject to income and age regulations.
“A campus like ours has about $400 that are campus-based fees, the Cal vet Fee Waiver does not cover the campus-based fees or other class fees such as lab fees,” said staff member Kenneth Jacobs.
Chapter 33 refers to the Post-9/11 GI Bill and is available to veterans who have served three or more years on active duty after September 10, 2001, pays for 100 percent of a public four-year education.
“Chapter 33 covers basic allowance and housing and is paid directly to the school and students are eligible to receive a stipend based on the school’s zip code for living expenses,” said Jacobs.
Two differences between the Cal Vet Fee Waiver and Chapter 33 is Chapter 33 is money that is paid to the university and provides students with money for living expenses, whereas the California Fee Waiver is simply waiving state tuition fees and excluding university fees.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Education section online provides detailed information on educational benefits.