The Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of Veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.
You may receive up to 45 months of education benefits. Effective Oct. 1, 2013, some DEA beneficiaries may be eligible for up to 81 months of GI Bill benefits if they use the Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance program in conjunction with an entitlement from other VA education programs.
If you are eligible for both Fry Scholarship and DEA, you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the two programs when you apply.
Dependents are not eligible to receive both DEA and Fry Scholarship based on the same event (like a Service member dying in the line of duty) unless he or she is a child whose parent died prior to August 1, 2011. A child whose parent died before August 1, 2011, may be eligible for both benefits but he/she may only use one program at a time and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training. In this situation, the two benefit programs cannot be used concurrently.
You must be the son, daughter, or spouse of:
• 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 Veteran who died from any cause while such permanent and total service-connected disability was in existence.
• A Servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
• A Servicemember forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
• A Servicemember who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective Dec. 23, 2006.
To apply, obtain and complete VA Form 22-5490, Dependents Application for VA Education Benefits. Send it to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the state where you will advance your education and training. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or guardian must sign the application. If you are eligible for both DEA and Fry, you will be required to make an irrevocable election unless you are a child of a Servicemember who died in the line-of-duty prior to August 1, 2011.
• If you have started your educational program, take your application to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, and send both forms to VA. (Note: Schools must contact their VA representative to receive this form.)
Those eligible for DEA benefits may also be eligible for this additional assistance:
• Special Restorative Training VA may prescribe special restorative training where needed to overcome or lessen the effects of a physical or mental disability for the purpose of enabling an eligible person to pursue a program of education, special vocational program, or other appropriate goals. Medical care and treatment or psychiatric treatments are not included.
• Special Vocational Training VA may also approve these benefits for an eligible person who is not in need of special restorative training, but who requires such a program because of a mental or physical disability.
• Section 301 of Public Law 109-461 adds a new category to the definition of eligible person for DEA benefits. The new category covers the spouse or child of a person who VA determined has a service-connected permanent and total disability; and is at the time of VAs 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 Dec. 23, 2006, the effective date of the law.”
Information can be found at www.va.gov or you may call 660-359-2078 for more information.