Veterans' Spouses & Children Benefits
Wisconsin GI Bill (Tuition Remission Program)
The Wisconsin GI Bill (WI GI Bill)—Tuition Remission Program—provides a waiver of eligible tuition and fees at all of the 13 two-year and 13 four-year campuses of the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) and all of the 16 Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) district campuses. It may be used by eligible veterans, spouses, unremarried surviving spouses and children for a total of eight semesters or 128 credits, whichever is greater, for each eligible person. The waiver can be used for all levels of study such as associate, baccalaureate, masters degrees or even doctrinal study.
Eligibility of Spouse, Unremarried Surviving Spouse and Dependent Children
A qualifying (who entered active duty as a Wisconsin resident and served honorably) veteran’s spouse, unremarried surviving spouse or children are eligible when the veteran either:
- Is awarded a Federal VA Service Connected Disability (SCD) rating of at least 30%;
- Is killed in action (KIA);
- Dies in the line of duty while on active, reserve, or National Guard service; or
- The death after military service is determined by the VA to be the direct result of an SCD.
To establish dependent eligibility, a veteran must have at least one day of active duty in the armed forces, any forces incorporated into the armed forces, the National Guard or any Reserve component and have been a resident of Wisconsin at the time of death. The spouse can receive the waiver during the ten years following the effective date of the award of the 30% SCD; children are eligible beginning at age 17 and until turning 26. The surviving, unremarried spouse has 10 years from the date of death of a veteran who qualifies under the criteria in (1),(2) or (3) above. A surviving, unremarried spouse has an additional ten years of eligibility commencing when the youngest child that the spouse had with the veteran reaches (or would have reached) age 18.
Eligibility for the WI GI Bill is a two-part process. WDVA certifies the veteran’s eligibility, and the school determines the student (be it veteran, spouse, or child of a veteran) as eligible for the tuition remission based upon statutory requirements. If appropriate, the school will approve the waiver.
More Information and How to Apply
Contact your County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) or the Education Section of the WDVA for assistance in applying and to discuss other federal and state veterans’ benefits, programs and services.
This information is only a program summary. For more information on program eligibility, applications or instructions, read brochure WDVA B0105, Wisconsin Tuition Programs for Veterans, Qualifying Spouses and Children.
Wisconsin Veterans & Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit
This program provides eligible veterans and unremarried, surviving spouses a refundable property tax credit for their primary, in-state residence (primary dwelling and one acre of land). The WDVA verifies the veteran’s eligibility and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) pays it in the form of a credit as a state income tax refund claimed on a State of Wisconsin, Department of Revenue Form 1 or Form 1A.
This benefit is available to an unremarried, surviving spouse of an eligible, deceased veteran (as defined below) or a service member who died in the line of duty and was a Wisconsin resident at the time of death.
To be eligible a veteran:
- Served on active duty under honorable conditions in the U.S. armed forces.
- Was a Wisconsin resident at the time of entry into active duty or was a resident for a consecutive five-year period after entering active duty.
- Is a current Wisconsin resident for purposes of receiving state veterans’ benefits.
- Has a service-connected disability rating of 100% or an individual unemployable rating and compensated at the 100% rate by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under 38 USC 1114 or 1134.
- Allows a refundable credit for property taxes paid on a principle dwelling in the State of Wisconsin (your principle dwelling and one acre of land).
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue will allow the eligible claimant to go back for up to FOUR years from the “unextended due date” of return (usually April 15th), for the year requested for any “QUALIFIED” past year not previously claimed.
Military Funeral Honors Program
The Military Funeral Honors Program (MFHP) in Wisconsin provides a final tribute to the men and women who served our state and nation honorably as members of the U.S. armed forces. It allows a grateful nation to pay its last respects in a dignified and solemn ceremony. The WDVA administers the program with assistance from veterans' service organizations, CVSOs, funeral directors and the active and reserve components of the U.S. armed forces.
Military Service Medals & Records Program
Do you have all of your military service medals or would you like a copy of your military service records, discharge document, or DD Form 214? Did you have a father/mother or brother/sister who served in the military and now the family would like to obtain his/her past military medals?
For assistance, contact one of the following sources:
- WDVA Veterans Benefits Resource Center (VBRC)
Hours: M–F, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. C.T.
Local: (608) 266-1311 or Toll-free 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387)
201 W. Washington Ave., 4th Floor, Madison, WI 53703 (Walk-ins are Welcome!)
WDVA receives from the U.S. Department of Defense copy number 6 of each service member's DD Form 214 (DD214) who has designated Wisconsin as their Home Record or those who move to Wisconsin upon completion of his/her service and request that copy 6 be sent to Wisconsin. WDVA has copies of military records/DD214s from before World War I, and the department maintains separate, state copies of the DD214
- County Veterans Service Officer
Your CVSO provides a full range of direct services in learning about and applying for federal and state veterans’ benefits, programs, and services. A full listing of Wisconsin CVSOs is available online by county. CVSOs can assist veterans in obtaining both records and medals.
To request a copy of your DD Form 214 from WDVA, download form WDVA 1045 and mail the completed form to the WDVA Eligibility Section at the address on the top of the form.
Wisconsin Veterans Homes
Application forms are available on our website in two formats—Microsoft Word fillable format (you can access, complete, and print from your computer) and Adobe Acrobat PDF format (print from your computer, complete by hand).Your CVSO also can answer eligibility questions and help with the application process.
To Arrange For A Pre-Admission Tour Call:
- Veterans Home at King, (715) 258-5586 ext. 2270
- Veterans Home at Union Grove, (262) 878-6700 ext. 6749 or (866) NOW-VETS (669-8387)
- Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls (scheduled to open in late 2012)
Eligibility and Residency Requirements
To be admitted to the Home, veterans must meet criteria for military service and state residency.
The veteran must have entered service from the state of Wisconsin, or must have resided in the state of Wisconsin for 12 consecutive months since his/her discharge from military service. The application form must reflect a Wisconsin address for the home address. A spouse of a veteran can also reside at the Wisconsin Veterans Home, provided they are admitted while the veteran is at some type of facility (i.e., assisted living, nursing home, hospital) or if the spouse is a widow/widower.
Wisconsin Veterans Cemeteries
Eligibility for Veteran
Eligibility is based on a veteran meeting military service and Wisconsin residency as listed.
Military service requirement for burial in Wisconsin State Veterans Cemeteries must be in accordance with the eligibility standards as set by the VA National Cemetery Administration, and as a minimum must meet one of the following:
- Veteran was discharged from “active duty” under other than dishonorable conditions, or
- Veteran died while on “active duty”, or
- Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60).
Wisconsin state residency requirement for burial in state veteran cemeteries must meet one of the following:
- Veteran was a Wisconsin resident at the time of entry or re-entry into military service, or
- Veteran was a Wisconsin resident at the time of death, or
- Veteran was a Wisconsin resident for at least 12 consecutive months after entering or reentering service on “active duty.”
- NOTE: There is no residency requirement for a veteran who dies while on “active duty.”
Eligibility for Veteran’s Family
Spouses, surviving spouse, and dependent children are eligible for interment even if the veteran is not buried or memorialized in a state veterans’ cemetery and the veteran would have met both military service and Wisconsin residency requirements. This includes, lost or buried at sea, missing or missing in action, or whose remains have been donated to science or cremated and the ashes scattered.
- Surviving spouse of an eligible veteran that has been interred who remarries retains his or her eligibility for burial.
- Any natural or adoptive child of an eligible veteran who is under 18 years of age or who is under 26 years of age and pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution.
- An adult child of an eligible veteran of any age if the child is physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support by reason of mental or physical disability.
Federal VA Benefits
For more information about specific Federal VA (VA/USDVA) benefits and services for family members, call 1 (800) 827–1000 or access information on the VA website.
|Survivor’s Federal VA Benefits||www.vba.gov/survivors/vabenefits.htm|
|Education & Training||(888) 442-4551|
|Home Loan Eligibility Center||(888) 244-6711|
|VA Life Insurance||(800) 669-8477|
|Office of Service Members’ Group Life Insurance||(800) 419-1473|
|Direct Deposit||(877) 838-2778|
|Headstones/Markers (status of claims only)||(800) 697-6947|
|Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)||(800) 829-4833|
These are the people in VA who welcome home war veterans with honor by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring manner. Vet Centers understand and appreciate veterans’ war experiences while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their community.
- Family Resources – Links for Veterans and Dependents
- Military One Source – Joint Family Support Assistant Program (JFSAP) Consultant
1-800-292-9464 or (715) 441-0077
Serves as the MOS specialist on resources, programs and services for military families. Conducts outreach and partners with organizations to develop, identify, catalog and publicize resources to networks.
- Wisconsin Military.org – Service Member Support Division – Family Assistance
- Military Family Assistance Centers (FAC)
1-800-292-9464 or (608) 242-3833 or (608) 219-8672
Focus is providing family members information on entitlements and benefits available to them by providing resources and referrals during the service member's deployment cycle. Assistance is available 24/7.
- Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC) – Child and Youth
1-800-292-9464 or (608) 242-3147
Provides parenting and child development information and education. Conducts outreach and provides referral services to community resources. Provides direct, short-term, solution-focused counseling to children, youth and young families.
- Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC) – Adult
1-800-292-9464 or (608) 242-3746
Provides life skills information and education. Conducts outreach and provides referral services to community resources. Provides direct, short-term solution-focused counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups.
- Personal Financial Counselor (PFC)
1-800-292-9464 or (608) 509-2238
Provides education, support and assistance on personal finance solutions and access to personal financial counseling. PFC services include professional, individualized financial planning and consultation services, including assistance with money management, credit debt liquidation, analysis of assets and liabilities, and establishing and building savings plans.
- Transition Assistance Advisor (TAA)
1-800-292-9464 or (608) 242-3727 or (608) 469-3077
Serves as a first line of support for returning veterans to help troubleshoot concerns surrounding their benefits, education assistance, employment and any other issues they may encounter when they return from deployment or transition back into civilian life.
- Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)
1-800-292-9464 or (262) 745-3283 or (715) 252-0357
Connects survivors with those who can help families move forward and find strength, benefits counseling on state and federal benefits, and financial referral assistance. Provides long-term care to families of fallen to stay connected to the military for as long as they desire.