Benefits for Dependents of Veterans

A military family poses with their service member.

Below we have provided some helpful information for the dependents of veterans to learn about the benefits that may be available to them. Some students may qualify for more than one program, so we encourage you to read through all of the material below.

  • Transfer of Entitlement Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill

    A special provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows career service members to share unused educational benefits with their children and spouses.

    Please review the Department of Defense Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability Fact Sheet to determine if you are eligible for benefits.

    The process for collecting benefits is as follows:

    1. The eligible person needs to apply to the Department of Defense to transfer Chapter 33 benefits to you, via the DoD website.

    2. Once Transfer of Eligibility is approved, file your application for educational benefits (VA Form 22-1990E) online.

    3. The VA will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility. Submit it to Financial Aid.

      Financial Aid
      Highlander One-Stop Shop (HOSS)
      First Floor, Student Services Building
      Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5p.m.
      Phone: (951) 827-3878
      Fax: (951) 827-5619

    4. Contact the Financial Aid Office when you are enrolled in classes to submit your Enrollment Certification to the VA (VA Form 22-1999). Any benefits to which you are entitled will start only after you've completed this last step.

  • VA Dependents' Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)

    You may qualify for VA educational benefits under Chapter 35 if your parent or spouse died or is permanently and totally disabled as a result of his or her military service.

    Call the VA's toll-free number (888) GI BILL1 (442-4551) to determine if you are eligible for assistance. Be sure to have your parent's or spouse's VA file number available when you call.

    The process for collecting benefits is as follows:

    1. Complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance. If you've collected benefits in the past, skip the application and complete VA Form 22-5495, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training when you visit our office to certify your enrollment.
    2. Establish your educational benefits eligibility through the VA by filing online.
    3. Contact Financial Aid to obtain a Certificate of Enrollment, which is required to start collecting benefits.

      Financial Aid
      Highlander One-Stop Shop (HOSS)
      First Floor, Student Services Building
      Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
      Phone: (951) 827-3878
      Fax: (951) 827-5619
  • California College Fee Waiver

    Under the California Education Code, dependents of veterans whose death or disability was service-connected may be eligible for exemption from many university fees. Applications and information are available in the in the Veterans Resource Center or from your county veterans' services office.

    How do I apply?

    Contact your local county veterans service office to obtain applications, information, and apply for benefits under this program. The Riverside County veterans services office is located at 4360 Orange St., Riverside CA, 92501 (951) 276-3060. Always try to apply for these benefits prior to attending school. Benefits are awarded on an academic-year basis and students are required to reapply each year for ongoing benefits.

    What fees are "waived" (exempted) at UCR?

    The following UC fees are exempted for the purposes of this program for students classified as California residents for tuition purposes: Tuition, Student Services Fee, Special Fee for Law and Medicine, Fee for Selected Professional School Students. In addition to the fees listed above, Summer Session Course Fees for currently matriculated UC students eligible for this program are also exempted. These are the only fees from which you may be exempted under this program.

    How does the fee exemption work for a regular academic quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring)?

    Contact Financial Aid when you are approved by county veterans services for this program. The office should send Financial Aid a copy of your approval letter or you may provide Financial Aid with a copy. Financial Aid will enter information into the university's student billing system indicating that you are eligible to be exempted from the applicable fees for the remainder of the academic year. When your Statement of Account is available on R'Web, it will show just the amount you owe; the fees from which you are exempted should not show up on your statement.

    If you have already paid your fees, notify Financial Aid. Arrangements will be made with Student Business Services for a refund or we will instruct you on how to proceed.

    What fees do I need to pay?

    You are only exempted from the fees listed above. Each quarter you will need to pay the balance of fees from which you are not exempted, according to the Statement of Account available on R'Web; for most students, this amount totals approximately $300 per quarter, plus applicable course materials and health insurance fee. If you have comparable insurance coverage, you may petition to be exempted from UCR's student health insurance; see the next section for details. It is your responsibility to pay the amount indicated in the "amount due" field on your statement by the fee payment deadline, or you will lose your classes and be assessed a late payment fee. You may access your statement online at If you have been approved for the fee waiver program, but your Statement still indicates that you owe any of the fees from which you should be exempted (as previously listed), check your "current activity" to see if there has been an adjustment in your fees. If not, don't ignore the balance due  — contact Financial Aid.

    What should I do about the USHIP Fee?

    The Undergraduate Student Health Insurance Program (USHIP) is designed to supplement the outpatient care available to all registered students through Student Health Services. Your "Cal Vet College Fee Waiver" does not exempt you from the USHIP Fee. If you have other health insurance coverage which meets UCR's published Standards for Comparable Coverage and you wish to be exempted from participation in the USHIP, you must file a USHIP Waiver Form by the quarterly deadline; students filing for exemption from USHIP should not pay the USHIP Fee, as it is non-refundable after the first day of the quarter. If you do not file for USHIP exemption by the quarterly deadline, then you are responsible for payment of the USHIP Fee. For further information, contact Student Health Services at (951) 827-5683.

    What should I do if I have been assessed non-resident fees?

    All questions concerning residency must be directed to the residence affairs officer in the Office of the RegistrarA Statement of Legal Residence must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar for a determination of the student's residency status for tuition purposes. If you are not classified as a California Resident by UC, your fee exemption will be invalid and you will be billed for full fees. 

    If I receive a "retroactive" authorization, can I be reimbursed for prior quarters?

    Yes, but generally only for the current academic year. Claims for fee exemptions must be presented to the university during the academic year for which the claim applies. Retroactive approval for a prior academic year can be granted only in situations in which students applied for the exemption in a timely manner, but approval was delayed by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs processing of original or reopened service-connected disability compensation or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation claims.

    Will my financial aid be affected if I accept the fee exemption?

    Financial Aid will be notified if t you are approved for the fee exemption and the office will determine whether this has any effect on the aid you have been awarded. If you have any questions about whether it is in your best interest to accept the fee exemption, we encourage you to contact your Financial Aid counselor.

    How does my fee exemption work for Summer Sessions?

    Please contact UCR's Summer Sessions office, on the first floor of the Student Services Building at the HOSS (Highlander One Stop Shop), (951) 827-3044, for information and instructions. Note that only matriculated UC students may be exempted from Summer Sessions fees.

    Am I eligible for any other benefits?

    If your veteran-parent or spouse died or is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability you may be eligible for additional benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). For further information, you may call the DVA at (888) GI BILL1 (442-4551).

  • Additional Financial Assistance

    The Dependent Benefits process may take some time to complete so we recommend that you have a back-up plan for paying your initial school expenses. Once we receive your California College Fee Waiver authorization or Post 9/11 GI Bill fee payment, you will be refunded any applicable university fees you have already paid.

    Possible alternatives include:

    • Applying for financial aid by completing your FAFSA.

    • Applying for UCR's Deferred Payment Plan through Student Business Services at (951) 827-3204 or online at
  • At Your Service

    UC Riverside provides staff in the Financial Aid Office to assist you with your VA educational benefits. Keep in mind, they are employees of the university, not the VA.

    If you need information about specific VA benefits, contact the VA directly:

    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
      Education Benefits
      Phone: (888) GI BILL1 (442-4551)
  • Other Benefits

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    Phone: (800) 827-1000