Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA)

Photo credit: Muhammad Rizwan. A young man wearing a graduation cap and gown smiles at the camera.

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) provides payment of a monthly education or training allowance to the spouse and children of a veteran:

  • who is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or
  • who died while active duty, or
  • who died as a result of a service-related condition.

Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of education benefits. Professional, educational and vocational counseling will be provided to eligible children and surviving spouses without charge upon request.

Since October 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 conjuntion with an entitlement from other VA education programs.

More information about this program is provided here.

To apply, complete and file VA Form 22-5490.  If you need help completing this form,  you may want to seek help from a VSO or your state veterans affairs office

Form 22-5490 on the VA site is "fillable". This means that you may complete the form by using your computer to type information into the required spaces. After you've done that and finished the form, you may print it out for mailing to the VA Regional Office that will serve you.


Last updated May 2018