The Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) is a veteran’s program that offers educational assistance and training opportunities to the qualified dependents of an armed service individual. To become eligible to this benefit, an individual should be a direct family member of the eligible veteran that includes the spouse, son or daughter.
Eligible service person includes those who passed away or permanently and totally disabled because of a service related infirmity. A direct family member of a veteran who is missing in action or captured in fulfilling his/her duty by an adverse force or has been forcibly interned or detained in the fulfilling his/her duty by a foreign power or government is also qualified for the educational assistance program. Other eligibility measures include spouse, son or daughter of a service person who has been hospitalized or receiving outpatient medication because of a service related infirmity and passed away from any cause while such service-related infirmity was in existence.
Dependent’s Educational Assistance Program or DEA render up to 45 months of education benefits that can be used for on-the-job training, apprenticeship and degree and certificate programs. Partners may take a correspondence course while refresher, remedial and deficiency courses is still subject for approval under certain situations.
The son or daughter of an eligible veteran who would like to benefit from this program should be 18-26 years old. Meanwhile, the period of eligibility of this veteran’s benefit is only 10 years from the date that VA finds them eligible or from the time of death of the veteran. If the veteran is rated by VA as permanently disabled, the period of eligibility of a husband/wife is 20 years from the effective day of the rating. This is also the same for surviving partners of a service person who passed away during active duty.
To get this benefit, the spouse, son or daughter should fill up the VA Form 22-5490, application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance and submit to Veterans Affairs’ district office with control over the state where they will train or study.