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Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

Definition

The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs initiative that provides educational support to dependents and surviving spouses of service members who have either passed away or are permanently disabled as a result of their military service. The program offers financial assistance for pursuing various educational and training opportunities, including degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. The DEA Program aims to help eligible individuals achieve their educational and career goals while acknowledging the sacrifices made by their military service members.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program provides education and training opportunities to the eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of those who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.
  2. DEA benefits can be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and other educational pursuits. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits to eligible recipients, depending on the program they choose.
  3. To be eligible for DEA benefits, the applicants must be a spouse or child of a veteran and must fall within the age limits set by the VA – between the ages of 18 and 26 for children, and with certain time limits for spouses. They should also apply for the program through the VA website or by submitting a VA Form 22-5490.

Importance

The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program is important because it provides vital educational support and opportunities for the eligible dependents and survivors of veterans.

Specifically catering to the spouses and children of disabled veterans, service members who have died in the line of duty, or those who have experienced a service-connected death, the DEA program offers financial assistance for college, vocational, career training, and other educational initiatives.

By extending this support, the DEA Program not only recognizes and honors the sacrifices of veterans and their families, but also contributes to their long-term well-being, stability, and integration into society through education and skill development.

Explanation

The purpose of the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program is to provide financial support and resources to eligible dependents and survivors of certain deceased or disabled veterans, helping them pursue their educational goals. Those who qualify for this program may be the spouses, children, or dependents of veterans who have either died or been permanently disabled as a result of service-related incidents, are missing in action, or have been forcibly detained by a foreign government.

DEA aims to alleviate the financial burden of education on family members and provide them with opportunities to acquire skills and knowledge necessary for personal and professional growth. The DEA Program is utilized to cover a wide range of educational programs and training, such as degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and correspondence courses.

Additionally, the program offers allowances for tutorial assistance and work-study employment, further assisting beneficiaries in meeting living expenses and other costs related to their education. By offering financial assistance and support, the DEA Program plays a critical role in empowering the families of service members to improve their quality of life and economic prospects through education.

This contribution, in turn, honors the sacrifices made by the veterans and their families.

Examples of Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program, also known as Chapter 35, provides education and training opportunities to dependents and survivors of veterans who have died on active duty or become permanently and totally disabled as a result of their service-related condition. Here are three real-world examples:

The spouse of a fallen service member: In this example, a military spouse has lost their partner, who was killed during active duty. As a survivor of the deceased service member, the spouse is eligible to receive benefits under the DEA Program. They can use these benefits to pursue educational opportunities, such as attending college or vocational training programs, to build a new career and secure their financial future.

The child of a disabled veteran: In this scenario, a child’s parent has become permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related injury or illness. As a dependent of the disabled veteran, the child is eligible for financial assistance through the DEA Program to pursue their educational goals, such as attending college or trade schools, which can greatly reduce their financial burden and allow them to focus on their educational objectives.

A surviving spouse pursuing a new career: A veteran’s spouse is widowed after their partner dies due to a service-related injury or illness. The surviving spouse decides to change careers and undergo job training in a new field to better support their family. They enroll in a vocational training program and are eligible for financial assistance through the DEA Program, allowing them to receive the necessary training to excel in their new career without the added financial stress.

FAQs for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

What is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program?

The DEA Program is a government-funded program that offers educational and vocational training benefits to eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans. The program aims to provide financial assistance for individuals seeking higher education, career training, or other workforce-related preparation.

Who is eligible for the DEA Program?

Eligible individuals include spouses, surviving spouses, and children of servicemembers who have been deemed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to have a service-connected disability, died in the line of duty or from their service-connected disability, or have been deemed permanently and totally disabled.

What kind of benefits are provided by the DEA Program?

The DEA Program offers various benefits, including financial support for tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, books and supplies stipend, and career counseling. The benefits may be used for degree programs at colleges and universities, vocational training, certification exams, and tutoring, among others.

How does one apply for the DEA Program?

To apply for the DEA Program, individuals must complete and submit an application form, VA Form 22-5490 (Dependents’ Application for VA Education Benefits), along with supporting documentation proving eligibility. The application can be submitted online through the VA’s website or by mailing it to the designated VA regional processing office.

How long do DEA Program benefits last?

Eligible individuals can receive up to 45 months of DEA Program benefits. These benefits must be used within a specific time frame, which depends on the beneficiary’s eligibility. For instance, children of eligible veterans can use the benefits between the ages of 18 and 26, while spouses’ eligibility generally extends for ten years from the determination of the veteran’s disability or death.

Can DEA benefits be combined with other VA education benefits?

In certain cases, an individual may qualify for multiple VA education benefits, such as the DEA Program and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, the total combined period of benefits received cannot exceed 81 months (or 48 months if received concurrently). It is advisable to consult with a VA representative to determine the best course of action in such situations.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Chapter 35 Benefits
  • Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Survivors’ Educational Assistance
  • GI Bill Benefits for Dependents
  • Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance

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