As veterans, you know all too well how confusing and expansive the military’s benefits system works and how unsure you can feel about using them. When it comes to educational benefits, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill reigns supreme and using it to pay for your school couldn’t be more enticing. But, what about those who choose not to use their G.I Bill benefits and let them expire? Luckily, your G.I. Bill benefits are transferable to your spouse, one or more children, and any combination of spouse and child.

If school is not an option for you, who better to give your education benefits to than someone you love? In these times of financial uncertainty, giving your children an opportunity to go to college worry-free is not only viable, but your duty! To qualify for the benefits a family member must simply be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible at the time the service member transfers their benefits to receive educational benefits. Transfer of unused or the entire 36 months of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits can be secured and used if the member has used none.

The options don’t stop there. Some spouses are left as either widows or widowers during a time of war. Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) provides education and essential training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans, who were killed in action (KIA), are disabled, missing in action (MIA) or hospitalized as the result of their active duty service. This program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits cover everything from degrees, certification programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, correspondence courses are available for qualification.

ICDC College understands the difficulties and sacrifices service members make not only when it comes to enrolling in school, but dealing with family issues as well. Veterans and their families should take full advantage of the benefits and not let them go to waste. Empower your family and give the gift of education.