Alex’s Education Journey: Reflections & Tips by a Military Connected Youth with Disabilities

Alex is a young man who considers himself a “military brat”; he grew up in an Air Force family. He’s also one of the Branch’s military-connected consultants who help us with research, writing, and their lived experiences in the military community. Alex is an individual living with a disability which did not significantly affect his education.

Here is Alex’s education journey:

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Scholarships! Financial Resources for Military and Non-military Youth with Disabilities

A college education can be extremely expensive, and debt from student loans can impact students and their families for years. Military parents may have financial challenges paying for college as military salaries and benefits don’t always stretch to cover today’s higher education costs. Earning scholarships is an excellent way to lower future monthly payments; some scholarship awards completely cover annual college expenses!

Below are two resources: scholarships for military-connected youth, and scholarships for youth with disabilities. The lists include awards for two- and four-year undergraduate degrees, graduate studies and vocational programs. All scholarships are national in scope; a few are international. Youth and their families may find scholarships that fit their needs or inspiration for a further search. Parent centers:  feel free to select and share the most relevant scholarships for the families you serve. These lists are great for youth outreach, email campaigns, social media, workshops, support groups, resource fairs and newsletters.

What Is Secondary Dependency?

Did you know that the adult-aged child of an active duty or retired service member may qualify to retain their military medical benefits and other base privileges after age 21 if they meet the following criteria? The adult child, also referred to as the “Incapacitated Adult Child” must be

  • Incapable of providing his or her own support
  • Dependent on the sponsor (military parent) for at least 50 percent of his or her support (if the sponsor is deceased, the child must have received over 50 percent of his or her support from the sponsor at the time of death)
  • Incapacitation must have occurred prior to age 21 or age 23 if the adult child is enrolled as a full-time student
  • Unmarried—if the child marries and subsequently becomes unmarried due to divorce, annulment, or the death of the spouse, the sponsor is able to apply for reinstatement of the child’s benefits and entitlements as long as the adult child meets all other requirements.

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Military OneSource: Info for Your Work and the Families You Serve

Read and download information without a login!

Military OneSource’s website is a treasure-trove of information and resources for military families, with updated and accurate information about military family support programs and resources for family members with disabilities. The latest website update makes it easy for anyone to read articles and download individual resources. If you want to order some of their military-friendly products, we show you how to log in!

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When a Military Family Leaves the Military: Your Help with Civilian Services Matters

It can be difficult for retiring service members and their spouses to find supports outside the military system.  Like all of us, they get used to the ones they’ve been using.  Can they access the doctors and supports they have had for their child?  Does retirement change their benefits or access to health care?  How can a dependent child continue their services when their military parent retires?  This chart can help you understand which services their child will keep, and what civilian options you can help them explore.

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