Dependents Education Assistance Program
Educational Assistance (DEA) program offers education and training
opportunities to eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and
totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of Veterans who died
while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.
Benefits may be used
for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training.
If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial,
deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Get the DEA pamphlet.
eligible for DEA benefits may also be eligible for this additional assistance:
Special Restorative Training VA may
prescribe special restorative training where needed to overcome or lessen the
effects of a physical or mental disability for the purpose of enabling an
eligible person to pursue a program of education, special vocational program,
or other appropriate goal. Medical care and treatment or psychiatric treatments
are not included.
Special Vocational Training VA may
also approve these benefits for an eligible person who is not in need of
special restorative training, but who requires such a program because of a
mental or physical disability.
Section 301 of Public Law 109-461 adds a new category to the
definition of eligible person for DEA benefits. The new category covers the
spouse or child of a person who VA determined has a service-connected permanent
and total disability; and is at the time of VAs determination is a member of
the armed forces who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical care,
services, or treatment; and is likely to be discharged or released from service
for this service-connected disability. Persons eligible under this new
provision may be eligible for DEA benefits effective Dec. 23, 2006, the
effective date of the law.
Available Benefits and Eligibility
You may receive up
to 45 months of education benefits. Effective Oct. 1, 2013, some DEA
beneficiaries may be eligible for up to 81 months of GI Bill benefits if they
use the Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance program in conjunction
with an entitlement from other VA education programs. View current
You must be the son,
daughter, or spouse of:
A Veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the
result of a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of
active service in the armed forces.
A Veteran who died from any cause while such permanent and total
service-connected disability was in existence.
A Servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by
a hostile force.
A Servicemember forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by
a foreign government or power.
A Servicemember who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient
treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely
to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective Dec. 23, 2006.
Factors to Consider
If you are a son or
daughter and wish to receive benefits for attending school or job training, you
must be between the ages of 18 and 26. In certain instances, it is possible to
begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26. Marriage is not a bar to this
benefit. If you are in the armed forces, you may not receive this benefit while
on active duty. To pursue training after military service, your discharge must
not be under dishonorable conditions. VA can extend your period of eligibility
by the number of months and days equal to the time spent on active duty. This
extension cannot generally go beyond your 31st birthday, there are some
If you are a spouse,
benefits end 10 years from the date VA finds you eligible or from the date of
death of the Veteran. If VA rated the Veteran permanently and totally disabled
with an effective date of three years from discharge, a spouse will remain
eligible for 20 years from the effective date of the rating. This change is
effective Oct. 10, 2008, and no benefits may be paid for any training taken
prior to that date.
spouses of Servicemembers who died on active duty, benefits end 20 years from
the date of death.
To apply, take these
steps depending on your situation:
Make sure that your selected program is approved for VA
training. VA can inform you and the school or company about the requirements.
To apply, obtain and complete VA Form 22-5490 (Dependents Application for VA Education Benefits) online at the Department of Veterans Affairs. You will receive a confirmation number and an email from the VA upon successful submission of your online application. Please provide a copy of the confirmation page to the Veteran Certifying Official in the Financial Aid Office. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or
guardian must sign the application.
If you have started your educational program, take your
application to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999,
Enrollment Certification, and send both forms to VA.
NOTE: If you are not eligible for Chapter 35 educational
benefits but are the dependent of a disabled veteran, contact your County Veteran
Service Office (CVSO) for information about the California Department of
Veteran Affairs (CDVA) Fee Waiver Program.
For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551)
or Visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.