Transferred education benefits for family members
If you’re a spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, you may be able to use transferred education benefits for your classes and training. Learn more about these benefits and how to apply.
Am I eligible to use transferred benefits?
You may be eligible to use transferred benefits if you meet all of these requirements.
All of these must be true:
- The Defense Department (DOD) approved the service member’s request for a Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB), and
- You’re enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), and
- You’ll use the transferred benefits during the required timeframe
Find out when you can use transferred benefits
If you were married to the service member or Veteran but are divorced now, you’ll continue to be eligible as long as the service member doesn’t revoke (cancel) the transfer of benefits.
Note: If you’re eligible for more than one education benefits program, you can get payments through only one program at a time.
How can I use transferred education benefits?
You can use transferred benefits for these types of programs:
- Undergraduate and graduate education
- Non-college degree programs (like HVAC repair, truck driving, EMT, or beautician school)
- Flight training
- On-the-job training and apprenticeships
- Correspondence school
You may be eligible for help with the costs of housing, books, or supplies during your program.
You can also use transferred benefits for these expenses:
- Fees for national standardized tests (like the SAT)
- Fees for licensing and certifications
How do I apply?
You’ll need to first make sure the Defense Department (DOD) has approved the service member’s request to transfer benefits to you. This is called a Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB).
If DOD has approved the service member’s request, then you can apply online right now.
Note: Be sure you’re signed in as a family member to your own Login.gov or ID.me account to complete this application. We can’t process your application if the Veteran or service member signs in to their account and submits the application for you.
You can also apply by mail
To apply by mail, fill out an Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits (VA Form 22-1990e). Then mail your application to the VA regional processing office listed on the form.
What if the service member hasn’t requested a transfer of benefits?
The service member needs to request a Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) through milConnect first. They must make this request while they’re on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
If the Defense Department approves the request, you can then apply to use the transferred benefits.
What happens after I apply?
If we approve your application to use transferred benefits, we’ll send you a Certificate of Eligibility. It shows how many months of transferred benefits you can use, and how much time you have to use them.
When can I use transferred benefits?
If you’re a spouse
If you received transferred benefits as a spouse, you can use the benefits right away. You can use them while the service member is on active duty or after they’ve separated from service.
The time limit for these benefits depends on when the service member separated from service:
- If the service member separated before January 1, 2013, you can use these benefits for up to 15 years after their separation from active duty. This is as long as the service member or Veteran doesn’t revoke (cancel) the transfer of benefits.
- If the service member separated on or after January 1, 2013, you can use these benefits at any time. There’s no time limit on the benefits, as long as the service member or Veteran doesn’t revoke (cancel) the transfer of benefits.
Note: You don’t qualify for the monthly housing allowance while the service member is on active duty.
If you’re a child
If you received transferred benefits as a child of a service member, you can start to use these benefits only after the service member has finished at least 10 years of service. You can use these benefits while the service member is on active duty or after they’ve separated from service.
You must meet these requirements:
- You can’t use these benefits until you have a high school diploma (or a certificate that’s equivalent) or turn 18 years old, whichever comes first
- You must use these benefits before you turn 26 years old
Note: You may qualify for the monthly housing allowance, even when the service member is on active duty.
Can the service member cancel or change the transfer of benefits?
The service member can cancel (revoke) or change the transfer of benefits at any time, as long as we haven’t awarded them to you yet. We award benefits at the start of each term.