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Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

Definition

The Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program that provides educational and financial support to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or who died while on active duty or due to a service-connected disability. This program helps beneficiaries in pursuing various educational opportunities such as degree programs, certificate courses, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. The primary aim of the DEA program is to help spouses and children of eligible veterans in enhancing their career prospects and achieving their educational goals.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans.
  2. Benefits can be used for a range of programs, such as degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training, helping recipients gain valuable skills and credentials.
  3. Eligibility for DEA is based on a variety of factors, including the service-connected death or disability of the veteran, and the applicant’s relationship to the veteran (spouse, children, or surviving spouse).

Importance

The Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program is important because it provides valuable educational and training opportunities to eligible dependents and survivors of veterans who are either permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or have died while serving in the armed forces or as a result of a service-connected disability.

The DEA Program ensures that these individuals can pursue a range of educational goals, such as degrees, certifications, apprenticeships, or on-the-job training, which helps mitigate the financial and emotional hardships they face due to the loss or disabilities of their loved ones.

By enhancing their career prospects and earning potential, the DEA Program plays a critical role in supporting the well-being and future stability of the affected families and, in turn, contributing to the nation’s gratitude and commitment to those who have served or sacrificed in defense of the nation.

Explanation

The Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program serves a significant purpose in providing financial support to the dependents and spouses of veterans who have passed away, are permanently disabled or have sustained serious injuries due to their service in the military. The fundamental objective of this program is to ensure that eligible family members receive educational assistance that aids them in pursuing various educational and professional goals.

This includes not only college degrees but also certificate programs, vocational schools, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. By doing so, DEA strives to reduce the financial burden on these families and to contribute to their personal and professional development.

DEA Program is primarily used to cover the costs of a wide range of educational programs in which eligible dependents and spouses can participate. In addition to undergraduate and graduate programs, the benefits obtained from this program can be applied to preparatory courses, refresher trainings, and non-college degree programs.

This comprehensive support not only helps the beneficiaries to acquire new skills and professional qualifications, but also enhances their chances of finding a stable, well-paying job in their chosen career field. Consequently, DEA serves as a valuable resource to uplift the families who have made tremendous sacrifices in service of the nation, ensuring their well-being and future success.

Examples of Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

The Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program, also known as Chapter 35, offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or have died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. Here are three real-world examples:

A military spouse uses DEA benefits to attend college: Sarah’s husband, a military veteran, was killed in action during his deployment. As a surviving spouse, Sarah is eligible for DEA benefits and decides to use the financial assistance to pursue a nursing degree at a local university. These benefits help her pay for tuition, books, and supplies while she completes her educational goals.

A child of a disabled veteran utilizes DEA for vocational training: John’s father, a Vietnam veteran, has been deemed permanently and totally disabled due to his service-related injuries. John, as an eligible dependent, can use DEA benefits to enroll in a vocational school to study automotive repair. The financial aid from the DEA program helps cover expenses related to John’s training, allowing him to gain valuable skills for his future career.

A widow of a veteran continues her education with DEA benefits: Jessica’s husband, a Gulf War veteran, passed away from a service-related condition. Now, Jessica is eligible to receive DEA benefits to help her pursue higher education. After enrolling in a master’s degree program in Social Work, Jessica uses the DEA benefits to cover her tuition, fees, and study materials as she seeks to advance her skills and further her career.

Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program FAQ

What is the Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) Program?

The DEA Program offers education and training benefits to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

Who is eligible for the DEA Program?

Eligible individuals include the spouses, surviving spouses, and children of veterans who meet the program’s eligibility criteria.

What benefits can individuals receive under the DEA Program?

Benefits include up to 45 months of education benefits that can be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. The benefits cover tuition, fees, books, and supplies, as well as a monthly housing allowance for qualifying beneficiaries attending school full-time.

How do individuals apply for DEA Program benefits?

To apply for DEA Program benefits, individuals can complete and submit an Application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (VA Form 22-5490) through the VA’s online eBenefits portal, by mail, or in person at a VA regional office.

Is there a deadline to use DEA Program benefits?

Eligible individuals generally have 10 years from the date of the veteran’s death or the date of notification of the veteran’s permanent and total service-connected disability to use the DEA Program benefits. However, there can be exceptions and extensions made depending on various factors.

Can the DEA Program benefits be combined with other VA education benefits?

Beneficiaries can only use one VA education benefit program at a time. However, they may be eligible to switch between programs if they qualify for multiple education benefits. It is essential to evaluate which program best meets their educational goals and needs.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Chapter 35 Benefits
  • DEA Eligibility
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability
  • DEA Enrollment and Application Process
  • DEA Payment Rates

Sources for More Information