Dependents & Residency

Which dependents may qualify for the Hazlewood Act benefit?

  • Children and spouses of service members who are killed in the line of duty, are missing in action, or who die as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service are eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits providing the child was a dependent of the Texas service member at the time he/she died and the spouse and the service member were married. The student will need to provide official military documentation indicating he/she meets the requirement.
  • Children and spouses of Texas Veterans who are totally and permanently disabled or individually unemployable as a result of a service connected injury are also eligible for this benefit. The student will need to provide official documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs indicating that the Veteran has a total and permanent disability rating or is individually unemployable.

 

Does the Hazlewood Act provide benefits to the spouses of Veterans?

Yes, conditionally. Effective with tuition and fee payments for the Fall 2009 term, Hazlewood Act eligibility has been expanded to spouses of members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were killed in action, died while in service, are missing in action, whose deaths are documented to be directly caused by illness or injury connected with service in the armed forces, or receive a total and permanent disability rating of 100% as a result of a disability or being individually unemployable. The spouse will need to provide proof that he/she is/was the legal spouse of the Veteran.

Do both the "Legacy" child of a Veteran using Hazlewood Act benefits and the Veteran have to be Texas residents at the time of the "Legacy" child uses the benefit?

Yes. The legacy child must be classified by their institution as a resident of Texas for the term for which they apply for the Hazlewood Act exemption; the Veteran must also be a Texas resident during the same term of enrollment as legacy child. There is an exception if the Veteran has been recalled to active duty out of the state, or has rejoined the military and is out of the state pursuant to military orders.

Does the totally and permanently disabled or individually unemployable Veteran have to be a current resident of Texas (during term(s) of enrollment) for the child and spouse to use their Hazlewood Act eligibility?

No. The totally and permanently disabled or individually unemployable Veteran does not have to maintain Texas residency while their eligible child and/or spouse are using their Child or Spouse Hazlewood Act benefits.

Can the children or spouses of a member of the Texas National Guard use the Hazlewood Act benefit?

Yes, conditionally. The Hazlewood Act benefit is extended to the dependent children and spouses of Texas National Guard and Texas Air National Guard members killed in the line of duty since January 1, 1946, while serving the State of Texas, or the United States, or who are totally disabled according to the disability ratings of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

Transferability of Unused Hazlewood Hours to a Child (Legacy Act)

Can I transfer my unused hours to multiple legacy children?

Yes. However, you may not exceed 150 hours total, regardless how you distribute the hours among multiple children.

Can I have my legacy children use the transferred benefits simultaneously, even if they are at different colleges?

No. You may not use legacy child benefits simultaneously; only one child at a time may use the transferred benefits. If it is determined that simultaneous enrollment of legacy children has occurred, all Hazlewood Act Exemption Applications may be rendered void, and the college/universities may charge for the semester hours taken during the time period multiple legacy children have used the benefit.

 

Military Duty

Is the required amount of active service still 181 days? Are there any exceptions?

The requirement is “more than 180 days” of active military service, excluding initial entry training, for the Veteran. There are expectations: Veterans who completed all of their duty prior to the conclusion of the Korean War or the applicant is the dependent child or spouse of a Veteran who died in the line of duty, the active duty time of the Veteran may be fewer than 181 days.

Can a Veteran who is otherwise Hazlewood Act eligible, but served less than 181 days of (active) federal military service, combine multiple periods of active duty service to achieve the minimum of 181 days of (active) federal military service?

Yes. The law requires more than 180 days of Hazlewood Act exemption qualifying federal military service, excluding initial entry training. The law does not specify that the federal military service must fall in one continuous period. The Veteran’s DD214s will be provided as proof to account for the qualifying 181 days being met by the Veteran.

The Texas State Code specifies: “Sec. 54.341. VETERANS AND OTHER MILITARY PERSONNEL; DEPENDENTS. (a) The governing board of each institution of higher education shall exempt the following persons…provided the person seeking the exemption currently resides in this state and entered the service at a location in this state, declared this state as the person’s home of record in the manner provided by the applicable military or other service, or would have been determined to be a resident of this state…”

Can service in the Texas National Guard qualify an individual for Hazlewood Act benefits?

Maybe. The Hazlewood Act benefit is for the Veterans who served in the armed forces of the United States. The National Guard is a state unit. However, an individual in the National Guard who is called to active duty service and who serves at least 181 days (excluding initial entry training) as indicated on a DD Form 214, and meets all other eligibility requirements, may qualify for Hazlewood Act benefits.

My discharge is listed as "other than honorable." Can I use the Hazlewood Act exemption?

No. You must have a discharge of “honorable” or “under honorable conditions, general”, or equivalent language.

My military documents state that I have an "honorable separation" as opposed to an "honorable discharge." Can I still qualify for the Hazlewood Act?

Yes. In September 1996, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion that military personnel honorably separated after being on active duty may qualify for the Hazlewood Act exemption if they meet other program requirements.

Does the Hazlewood Act provide benefits to injured/disabled Veterans?

Yes. The Hazlewood Act is available to all Veterans who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of injury or disability.

 

Discharge Issues

Does a Veteran have to provide their DD214 to qualify?

Yes. The Veteran must provide a DD214 or equivalent documentation (if service is prior to 1950) to prove their eligibility for the Hazlewood Act exemption. Veteran’s eligibility is determined from the citations on the DD214 (or equivalent documentation) that substantiates the following:

  1. At the time of he or she entered the service, was a resident of Texas, entered the service in the state of Texas, or declared Texas as his or her home of record in the manner provided by the military or other service;
  2. Was discharged under honorable or general conditions after serving on active military duty, excluding initial entry training, for more than 180 days.

I can't find my DD214. Where can I get a copy?

You can obtain a copy of your DD214 from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. The fastest way to obtain a copy is to submit our request via the NPRC website at: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records. You can also make your request via mail by sending in a Standard Form 180. Standard Form 180 can be obtained by calling the Texas Veterans Commission at (512) 463-3168/3149.

What is acceptable discharge language related to the phrase "under honorable conditions?"

Discharges that have been characterized as “honorable” or “under honorable conditions, general” are legally acceptable for qualifying for the Hazlewood Act. If other wording is used and you are unsure of its meaning, please contact the Texas Veterans Commission.

My discharge is listed as "other than honorable." Can I use the Hazlewood Act exemption?

No. You must have a discharge of “honorable” or “under honorable conditions, general”, or equivalent language.

My military documents state that I have an "honorable separation" as opposed to an "honorable discharge." Can I still qualify for the Hazlewood Act?

Yes. In September 1996, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion that military personnel honorably separated after being on active duty may qualify for the Hazlewood Act exemption if they meet other program requirements.

 

Residency of Veteran

Can a Veteran whose place of entry is in another state qualify for the Hazlewood Act benefits if he/she was an established Texas resident at the time of entry?

Yes. In order to be eligible to receive a Hazlewood Act Exemption, a Veteran must prove that he or she was a Texas resident at the time of entry into military service, entered the service in the State of Texas, or declared Texas as his or her home of record in the manner provided by the military or other service. The burden of proof is on the Veteran to substantiate their Texas residency through supporting documentation (i.e. federal tax records, high school/college transcripts, voter registration, Texas property tax filings, etc.)

Does an individual have to be a U.S. citizen when he/she enters service in order to receive the Hazlewood Act benefits?

No. U.S. citizenship is no longer a requirement.

If the Veteran is now a Texas resident, but was not at the time of initial entry to the service, can he/she qualify for the Hazlewood Act?

Possibly. The Veteran must have re-entered the service in the state of Texas or declared Texas as their home of record at the time of entry into the service, and the “PLACE OF ENTRY INTO ACTIVE DUTY” and or “HOME OF RECORD AT TIME OF ENTRY” [Blocks 7a. and 7b. respectively, on all DD214s used since AUG 2009] are annotated with a Texas address and then serve 181 or more days on active federal military service (excluding initial entry training).

If someone from another state re-enlists after establishing residency in Texas, can he/she be eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits?

Possibly. If after completing the initial Service obligation the Veteran separates from the Service and establishes Texas residency* (12 months) and re-enters the Service in the State of Texas or declares Texas as home of record, then the Veteran may qualify for Hazlewood Act benefits if all other Hazlewood Act eligibility requirements are met and a new DD214 is generated for the term of enlistment/commission/warrant entered into during the new service term.

*Note if the Veteran was stationed in Texas pursuant to military orders at the end of the initial enlistment period, the time while stationed in Texas does not count toward the establishment of residence in Texas for the subsequent enlistment.

 

College Charges

What charges are covered?

The Hazlewood Act exempts qualified students from paying tuition, and most fees, while enrolled in classes at public institutions of higher education in Texas, up to 150 semester hours. Exemption does not include property deposits or student services fees.

How does the exemption work? Will I get a check in the mail for tuition?

No. The Hazlewood Act is an exemption from the payment of tuition and most fees. There is no money changing hands with this benefit. The institution the student attends exempts the cost of tuition and most fees for the student.

What charges are not covered?

NOT covered: books, supplies and living expenses. Property deposit and student services fees are NOT covered.

 

Student Financial Aid

Is financial aid an eligibility requirement?

No. The Hazlewood Act benefits are awarded regardless of financial need.

No. The Hazlewood Act benefits are awarded regardless of financial need.

No. A Veteran who has defaulted on a loan that is made or guaranteed by the State of Texas is disqualified from receiving Hazlewood Act benefits. Currently, the state loans to which this provision applies are: Hinson-Hazlewood Stafford Loans, Hinson-Hazlewood Health Education Loans (HELP), Hinson-Hazlewood College Access Loans (CAL), uninsured Texas Opportunity Plan Loans (TOP) and the Texas B-On-Time Student Loan administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Will individuals in default on a state of student loan be eligible to use the Hazlewood Act benefits for non-credit courses?

If a Veteran has a default, which would exclude him/her from Hazlewood Act benefits, that exclusion would apply no matter what types of classes are taken.

If a Veteran receives Hazlewood Act benefits and it is later discovered that he/she defaulted on an applicable state loan, does he/she have to reimburse the school for the classes taken with the exemption?

Yes. If the Veteran signs a statement that he/she is not in default of any education loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas and is found later to be in default, the school can require repayment of tuition and appropriate fees.

Is it possible to receive the Hazlewood Act benefits and federal VA educational benefits concurrently?

Yes. If the student is receiving federal VA education benefits other than the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33 or any other benefits designated only for payment of tuition and fees), he/she can receive both benefits concurrently.

  • If the student is receiving federal VA education benefits for payment of tuition and fees, he/she may receive both benefits concurrently only if the federal VA tuition and fees benefit amount does not equal or exceed the Hazlewood exemption value.
  • If the federal VA benefits do not equal or exceed the Hazlewood exemption value, the student may receive a Hazlewood exemption that equals the difference between the total tuition and fees (including student property deposit, student services and all other fees) and the federal VA benefits.
  • If a Veteran has active duty service AFTER  September 11th, 2001, the student must provide a copy of their Department of Veterans Affairs Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) for federal education benefits from the VA indicating the student’s benefit type and amount, the inclusive dates of payment, and the remaining entitlement at the end of the award period.
 

Types of Courses Covered

Does the Hazlewood Act cover teacher certification fees?

No. The teacher certification fee is not an institutional fee. It is a fee required by the State Board for Educator Certification and is paid directly to that board.

Does the Hazlewood Act cover credit by examination?

Yes. Since Texas Education Code 54.341 (a) refers to exemption from “all dues, fees and charges…” the exemption would include charges for credit by examination.

Will Hazlewood Act benefits pay for continuing education classes?

Institutions are NOT required to offer Hazlewood Act benefits to Veterans enrolled in continuing education classes for which the college or university receives no formula funding (tax support). However, the college or university may choose to permit this option.

Can Hazlewood Act benefits be used for graduate school?

Yes. Hazlewood Act benefits may be used for graduate studies, including law school or any other program of study at public institutions (other than continuing education) if the Veteran has not accumulated 150 credit hours using Hazlewood Act benefits since fall of 1995.

Can Veterans who are concurrently enrolled in more than one college or university (in the same semester) receive Hazlewood Act benefits for both schools?

Yes. Each college/university granting Hazlewood Act benefits must document the Veteran’s eligibility and must observe the 150-hour limit.

Are distance education courses covered by the Hazlewood Act?

Conditionally, yes. If the classes receive formula funding, are taken through Texas public institutions, and the charges are paid to the institution and not a third party, they are covered by the Hazlewood Act.

Are aircraft training courses covered by the Hazlewood Act?

Possibly, yes. The governing board of a junior or community college may establish a fee for extraordinary costs associated with a specific course of program such as flight training, diesel mechanics or other classes in which fees are higher than that of a normal class, and the school may charge higher fees(s) for specific courses that will not be fully covered by the Hazlewood Act Exemption for fees.

 

Recording Information

What information will be made available upon signing the release form?

All students using the Hazlewood Act benefit required to register into the Hazlewood online database to sign a release which allows the Texas Veterans Commission, along with any institution the Veteran may attend, access to the number of credit hours attempted in the current and previous years.

How are the semester hours used under the Hazlewood Act reported in the on-line database?

The Hazlewood Database reporting is done by fiscal/academic year. The fiscal/academic year starts with the Fall Term. Because of this, the year listed for Fall Terms in the database are always going to be one year ahead of the actual calendar year in which the student actually attended. For example, if you attended a school from August 2014 (calendar year) to May 2015 (calendar year), your hours used will be listed in the database as having attended the Fall 2015 and Spring 2015 terms.

How will the Hazlewood credit hours attempted be traced and recorded?

The governing board of each institution shall report to the Texas Veterans Commission information relating to each individual receiving an exemption from tuition and fees throughout the Hazlewood Exemption.

Why do both the Veteran and the Legacy Child both have to register with the Texas Veterans Commission On-Line Database?

The Veteran registers so that the “Standard” and/or “Legacy” hours used by both the Veteran and the Legacy Child are correctly accounted for and annotated under the Veteran’s “Veteran Records.” The Legacy Child registers so that the college/university may account for who actually attended class and used the Veteran’s benefit hours. By accounting for the hours used by both the Veteran and Legacy Child, we can determine the remaining benefit hours, who has used which hours, at which school, and the total hours used.