Survivors' & Dependents' Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
Some Help for Those Who Gave All.
Survivors' & Dependents' Educational Assistance is an education benefit for eligible spouses and children of service members have given their life for their country or who are severely disabled due to their service. Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of full-time or equivalent benefits for:
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible to use Survivors’ & Dependents’ Education Assistance you must be the spouse or the biological/adopted child of:
- a veteran who died, or is permanently and totally disabled, as the result of a service-connected incident or disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces.
- a service member missing in action or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force.
- a service member forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
- a service member hospitalized or receiving outpatient care for a VA determined service-connected permanent and total disability may be eligible for DEA benefits.
How Long Do I Have to Use This Benefit?
Spouses and surviving spouses have 10 years from the date VA establishes eligibility to use the benefit. Surviving spouses of veterans who died while on active duty have 20 years from the date of the veteran’s death to use the benefit.
Children may use the benefit while they are between the ages of 18 and 26.
Note: These time limits can be extended under certain circumstances. For details, call the toll-free number or visit the web site shown below.
How Much Would I Receive?
The amount VA pays is based on the type of education program and credits enrolled in (i.e. full-time, half-time, etc). Benefits are paid monthly. If attendance is less than a month or less than full-time, payments are reduced proportionately.