A child loses eligible status when they turn 18, unless enrolled in an accredited school as a full-time student.
To establish student status, and retain CHAMPVA eligibility, an unmarried child between the ages of 18 and 23 must attend school full time. Schools include, but are not limited to, high school, vocational/technical schools, and undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate levels of study. The student can remain eligible for CHAMPVA until the date of graduation or until his or her 23rd birthday, whichever comes first.
CHAMPVA will send a letter to the student 90 days prior to his or her 18th birthday that provides notification of the potential change in CHAMPVA eligibility. This letter will also outline the steps necessary to extend CHAMPVA eligibility:
To avoid an interruption of CHAMPVA benefits for the summer break between high school and the first term of the continuing education program, the student must send us proof of intent to continue his or her education (e.g., a letter of acceptance from the educational institution). Once we receive that letter, we will cover the break between high school and the start of the first term of the continuing full-time education program.
Within one month after the first term begins, the student must submit a school certification verifying full-time enrollment. If CHAMPVA does not receive verification, benefits will be terminated and any payments made by CHAMPVA after the student turned 18 will be subject to recoupment. The certification letter should be on school letterhead and include:
- Student’s full name,
- Student’s Social Security number,
- Exact beginning date and ending date of school term (month, date, year),
- Projected graduation date (month, year),
- Number of semester hours or equivalent certification of full-time status and
- Title and signature of a school official.