(a) Except as provided in subsection (a), section nine of this article, in addition to the spouse death benefits in this article, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive and there shall be paid to the spouse $100 monthly for each dependent child.
(b) If the surviving spouse dies or if there is no surviving spouse, the fund shall pay monthly to each dependent child a sum equal to one hundred percent of the spouse's entitlement under this article divided by the number of dependent children. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor a dependent child, the fund shall pay in equal monthly installments to the dependent parents of the deceased member during their joint lifetimes a sum equal to the amount which a surviving spouse, without children, would have received: Provided, That when there is only one dependent parent surviving, that parent is entitled to receive during his or her lifetime one-half the amount which both parents, if living, would have been entitled to receive: Provided, however, That if there is no surviving spouse, dependent child or dependent parent of the deceased member, the accumulated contributions shall be paid to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries: Provided further, That if there is no surviving spouse, dependent child or dependent parent of the deceased member, or any named beneficiary or beneficiaries, then the accumulated contributions shall be paid to the estate of the deceased member.
(c) Any person qualifying as a dependent child under this section, in addition to any other benefits due under this or other sections of this article, is entitled to receive a scholarship to be applied to the career development education of that person. This sum, up to but not exceeding $7,500 per year, shall be paid from the fund to any higher education institution in this state, career-technical education provider in this state or other entity in this state approved by the board, to offset the expenses of tuition, room and board, books, fees or other costs incurred in a course of study at any of these institutions so long as the recipient makes application to the board on an approved form and under rules provided by the board and maintains scholastic eligibility as defined by the institution or the board. The board may propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code which define age requirements, physical and mental requirements, scholastic eligibility, disbursement methods, institutional qualifications and other requirements as necessary and not inconsistent with this section. Scholarship benefits awarded pursuant to this subsection are not subject to division or payable to an alternate payee by any Qualified Domestic Relations Order.