Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance - DEA


Dependents' Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. Effective October 1, 2013 some DEA beneficiaries may be eligible for 81 months of GI Bill benefits if they are eligible for more than one education benefit. For more information click here.

These 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.

For more information, see the Survivor's and Dependent's Assistance pamphlet.

Current Payment Rates

Eligibility

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 December 23, 2006.

Period of Eligibility

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 exceptions.

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.

For surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died on active duty, benefits end 20 years from the date of death.

How to Apply

Complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, 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 entire completed online application 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.

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/.