Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) (Chapter 35)

The DEA Program is for the child or spouse of a Veteran or service member who has died, is captured or missing, or has disabilities. Specific eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • The Veteran or service member is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability (100% disability rating)
  • The Veteran or service member died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability
  • The Veteran or service member is missing in action or was capture in the line of duty by a hostile force or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign entity
  • The Veteran or service member is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability
  • The child of the sponsor must be between the ages of 18 and 26

Final determinations for eligibility are done through the VA Education Department.

The DEA Program includes a monthly stipend paid directly to the student. Current payment rates can be found here:

What you need to do: 

To apply for this benefit please visit:

Once you have completed the application process, the VA will mail you a letter called a Certificate of Eligibility to the address you provided on your application. This can take up to 30 days.

Our office will require three documents in order to certify your enrollment and begin your payment process with the VA:

  1. Enrollment Certification Form,*
  2. Concise Student Schedule*
  3. Certificate of Eligibility

*These forms must be turned in every semester in order to be certified. The Certificate of Eligibility must only be submitted once.

Additional Information: 

Some students that are eligible for the DEA Program are also eligible for the Military Dependent Scholarship. This is a state scholarship program that can be used in conjunction with your DEA benefits. Eligibility requirements for the MDS can be found here: