(U.S. Code, Title 38, Chapter 35)
The Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program provides education and training opportunities to dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled or deceased because of a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits, which can be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship and on-the-job training. Spouses may take correspondence courses.
This education benefit is provided to the children or spouses of military personnel and / or veterans who:
- Died in the line of duty while on active duty
- Became totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected cause
- Died while considered totally and permanently service-connected disabled
- Were missing in action or captured while in conflict with a hostile force
- Were forcibly detained or interned by a foreign government in the line of duty
- Are receiving hospital or ongoing outpatient treatment for a permanent and total service-connected disability while still on active duty and likely to be discharged due to that disability
The window to use it:
- The entitlement is good for 45 months of full-time payments
- For spouses, the benefit must be used within 10 years of the date of eligibility
- For surviving spouses, the benefit must be used within 20 years of the date of eligibility
- For children, the benefit must be used within eight years of the date of eligibility
- Eligibility for children to use the benefit must be established between the ages of 18 and 26
Visit VA's Web site to download the DEA booklet.