Veterans Services

Chapter 35 Dependents Educational Assistance

What is Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)?

Chapter 35 Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) benefits provide financial support for education and training, books and supplies, and housing to eligible dependents of certain veterans.  The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits (eight years for children ages 18-26; ten years for a spouse; and 20 years for a spouse of a veteran rated permanently and totally disabled within three years of discharge or death on active duty).  81 months maximum if combined with one or more programs.  Payment is made by the VA to the student.  Please note that payment is pro-rated if the Rate of Pursuit is less than full-time enrollment.

Who Is Eligible?

You may be eligible if you are the son, daughter, or spouse of a service member:

  • Who died or is permanently and totally disabled resulting from a service-connected disability, or
  • Who died while on active duty or resulting from a service-connected disability, or
  • Who is missing in action or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or
  • Who is forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power, or
  • Who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability.

If you are a dependent who does not meet the above criteria, you may still qualify for VA education benefits if the veteran or service member transferred some or all of their Post-9/11 GI BillĀ® entitlement to you while they were on active duty.

Where Can I Apply?

For a detailed description of Chapter 35 DEA benefits, eligibility requirements, payment rates, and to apply, click here.

If you have specific questions, please call toll-free 1-888-442-4551.