Survivors and Dependents
- Survivors' & Dependents' Educational Assistance is an education benefit for eligible spouses and children of certain veterans
- Benefits can vary depending on if they have been transferred from a Chapter 30 or Chapter 33 program
- Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of full-time or equivalent benefits for:
- College, Business, Technical or Vocational Courses, High School Diploma or GED, Independent Study or Distance Learning courses
- Correspondence Courses (Spouses Only),
- Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training
- Remedial, Deficiency, and Refresher Training (in some cases)
- The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance in a job
- Each individual State approves schools and courses. To find out if your school or program is approved for VA educational benefits, contact your school’s VA Certifying Official, or call VA at the toll-free number below
Survivor Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
- Note: The maximum award amount is given for any Pell Grant eligible student whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afganistan after September 11, 2001. You must be under 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time in college at the time of your parent's or guardian's death.
Who Is Eligible?
- Eligibility can vary depending on if the benefits have been transferred from a Chapter 30 or Chapter 33 program. In general:
- 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 service-connected disability was in existence
- A service member missing in action or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force
- A service member forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power
- A service member hospitalized or receiving outpatient care for a VA determined service-connected permanent and total disability may be eligible for DEA benefits. (Effective December 23, 2006)
How Long Is the Period During Which This Benefit May Be Used?
- Spouses and surviving spouses have 10 years from the date VA establishes eligibility to use the benefit
- Surviving spouses of veterans who died while on active duty have 20 years from the date of the veteran’s death to use the benefit. (Benefits cannot be paid before December 10, 2004 for anyone whose 10 year period ended prior to that date)
- Children may use the benefit while they are between the ages of 18 and 26
- These time limits can be extended under certain circumstances. For details, call the toll-free number or visit the web site shown below
How Much Does VA Pay?
- The amount VA pays is based on the type of training program and training time (i.e. full-time, half-time, etc)
- Benefits are paid monthly and in arrears. For example effective October 1, 2006, VA pays $860 a month for full-time training for a full month at a college or university
- If attendance is less than a month or less than full-time, payments are reduced proportionately
- Different payment rates can be found on our Web site or by calling the toll-free number shown below
How Can You Apply?
- Make sure the program you are pursuing is approved for VA training.
- Complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance via the VA’s online application
- Submit the form to the VA regional office that serves the state where you will train. You can also apply online at the Department of Veterans Affairs
Need Help with Financial / Tuition Assistance?
- Watch brief videos
with answers to many of your financial assistance questions on Financial Aid TV
- Attend an online Financial Aid Orientation session with the experts
- For additional assistance, contact our Financial Aid Help Desk: 877-372-3535 | Send an e-mail