The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict.

Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Reserves. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism or as the result of a terrorist act, a peace-keeping mission, or any armed conflict after December 6, 1941.

• NOTE: A Veteran’s 90-100 percent disability must have been directly caused by the Veteran’s involvement in: 1. military operations against terrorism; 2. a peacekeeping mission; 3. a terrorist act; 4. an armed conflict subsequent to December 6, 1941. The service connected disability cannot have been incurred during active duty that coincides with, but was not the direct result of, one of the listed events/missions.

VMSDEP provides undergraduate or other postsecondary education to eligible participants by providing a waiver of tuition and all required fees associated with tuition at any public institution of higher education or other public accredited postsecondary institution granting a degree, diploma, or certificate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Benefits are available for up to four academic years.

Requirements for eligibility

To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying veteran service members must meet the following requirements:

• The dependent child must be between the ages 16 and 29 inclusively; no spouse age restriction

• The qualifying military service member must be a current Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in Virginia presently and for five consecutive years prior to the date of application submission or must have entered military service as a citizen of Virginia

• In the case of a deceased qualifying military service member, the surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements by:

1. Having been a Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia for five consecutive years prior to marrying the military service member or

2. Presently being a Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in Virginia for five consecutive years prior to the date of application submission

• The military service member who, while serving as an active duty member in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard, during military operations against terrorism, on a peacekeeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict, was killed, became missing in action, or became a prisoner of war, or of a veteran who, as a direct result of such service, has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled and has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Gather supporting documents

If you have appointed a Veterans Services Organization (VSO) or representative to assist you with Veteran’s support services, you may contact your VSO or representative to assist you with obtaining the requested VA documents listed below. If you have not appointed a VSO or representative, you may contact the VA at 800-827-1000 or visit their website at for a list of VSOs and representatives approved to provide services to the Veteran community.

The following documents should be included with your application:

1. Authorization Forms

In order to determine an applicant’s eligibility for this program, VMSDEP may access the Veteran’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) records. VMSDEP will use the Veterans’ records to determine if the applicant is eligible for this program. Have the Veteran complete the form on the website and include it with your application: Authorization to Review Records Form

2. Additional Authorization Forms

In some cases, VMSDEP may obtain VA records from the Veteran’s VSO or representative. Please have the Veteran complete the form below:

Authorization to Disclose Information

3. Proof of Military Service

DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4.

In the instance of a deceased Veteran, please provide:

• DD Form 1300/Report of Casualty if Veteran died while on active duty or

• Death Certificate and DD Form 214/Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, Member Copy 4 if the Veteran died succeeding active duty service

Proof of residency

If the Home of Record on the DD Form 214 is not listed as Virginia, submit official documents showing that the Veteran has established residency and has had a physical presence in Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date on the college admission application (see list of approved colleges in Step 4). Official residency documents must show the Veteran’s name, date and physical address. In most cases, you may need to submit one document for each year to show five years proof of presence. Documents you may submit:

0. State Income Tax Records

1. Real Estate Tax Records

2. Personal Property Tax Records

3. Voter Registration Records

4. Mortgage Monthly Statement or Residential Rental/Lease Agreement

5. Payroll or Check Stubs Issued with Virginia Address

6. Leave and Earning Statement Form

7. Annual Social Security Statement

8. Utility Bills

9. Home of Record at Time of Entry box on the DD-214 listing Virginia

10. Letter from commanding officer on official letterhead with an original signature stating that the Veteran currently lives in Virginia and specifying the length of time resided in Virginia.

Proof of disability

Official documents to show that the Veteran’s death or the Veteran’s service-connected condition(s) resulted from direct involvement in covered military combat and that the Veteran is considered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled for such condition(s). Official documents you may submit:

0. VA Rating Decision Narrative

1. VA Code Sheet

2. Relevant Service Medical Record Extracts

3. Relevant Military Personnel File Extracts

4. Prior Military Disability Board Decisions

5. Line of Duty Determinations

6. Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Eligibility Information that includes the Veteran’s Combat-Related Percentage

7. Casualty Reports

Proof of dependency

0. Marriage License/Certificate or

1. Birth Certificate or Adoption Decree/Court Order. Stepchildren must be adopted by the Veteran in order to meet the criteria.

Upload requested documents

1. Log into your VMSDEP

2. Select the plus (+) symbol to upload your additional documentation.

If you have any questions,please contact DVS via telephone at 804-225-2083 or via email at

A complete VMSDEP application should be submitted at least 90 calendar days prior to the date tuition and mandatory fees are due to the school.

To learn more about the VMSDEP program, call 804-225-2083, fax 804-786-0809 or email

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.