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Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs: has released the 2008-2009 DEA payment rates which go into effect on Oct. 1, 2008. The following guide will help you determine if you are eligible and how to apply for The Department of Veterans Affairs DEA program. Not what your looking for? Return to Military Education Guide.

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The Survivor's and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, refresher, and deficiency courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

2008-2009 DEA Payment Rates - these rates are effective October 1, 2008.

To be eligible, you must be the son, daughter, or spouse of:

  • A veteran who died from any cause while such service-connected disability was in existence.
  • A veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces.
  • A servicemember forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.

Eligibility Update:
Eligibility requirements have been expanded to cover a spouse or child of a person who:

  • the VA determines has a service-connected permanent and total disability; and
  • at the time of VA's determination is a member of the Armed Forces who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical care, services, or treatment; and
  • is likely to be discharged or released from service for this service-connected disability.

Persons eligible under this new provision may be eligible for DEA benefits effective December 23, 2006, the effective date of the law.

If you are a son or daughter and wish to receive benefits for attending school or job training, you must be between the ages of 18 and 26. In certain instances, it is possible to begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26. Marriage is not a bar to this benefit. If you are in the Armed Forces, you may not receive this benefit while on active duty.

To pursue training after military service, your discharge must not be under dishonorable conditions. VA can extend your period of eligibility by the number of months and days equal to the time spent on active duty. This extension cannot go beyond your 31st birthday.

If you are a spouse, benefits end 10 years from the date VA finds you eligible or from the date of death of the veteran.

You should make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. If you are not clear on this point, VA will inform you and the school or company about the requirements.

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