Chapter 35: Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)

Chapter 35: Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)

A child (between ages 18 and 26, with some exceptions) of a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition; or who died in service; or who died of a service-connected disability; or who died while evaluated as having total and permanent service-connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA.

The surviving spouse of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability, or died in service, or died while evaluated as having total and permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability. Surviving spouses whose benefits stopped when they remarried can receive DEA benefits again if their remarriage ends by death or divorce, or they cease to live with the person to whom they presented themselves in public as married.

A spouse of a veteran or serviceperson who has a total and permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA.

Entitlement: 45 months. (Maximum of 48 months if eligible for more than one benefit chapter.) Delimiting Date: Child: 8 years; Spouse: 10 years; Surviving Spouse: 10 years. 20 years if death while on active duty.

Documentation Required (1st time applicants)

  • Application for Benefits VA Form 22-5490 (Complete at VA Benefit Office)
  • Veterans VA File No. and/or SS No., DOB, Branch of Service
  • If dependent, a copy of Birth Certificate of applicant showing Veteran as parent is desirable. If a stepchild, also a copy of Marriage Certificate of parent married to Veteran.
  • If spouse, a copy of Marriage Certificate
  • If veteran is surviving, letter from VA showing veteran as 100% permanently disabled OR, a letter from VA stating your eligibility for Chapter 35
  • If Veteran is deceased, a copy of Death Certificate

Pay Rates