When a parent or spouse is injured or harmed during their service in the Armed Forces, it can be a great burden on family members. In an effort to provide assistance to those who have been affected by this hardship or tragedy, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enacted the Dependent’s Educational Assistance (DEA) program. DEA provides college funding that may be used toward a college degree or specialized training program.
To be eligible for DEA, an individual must have a veteran parent or spouse who has either died, been permanently disabled during active duty, is missing in action or has been captured or forcibly detained while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Those eligible individuals must use DEA benefits between the ages of 18 and 26. Spouses of veterans have a 10 year window in which to take advantage of proceeds, starting on the date that their eligibility has been established by the VA.
The amount of educational benefits received by an individual depends on the type of training and length of the college program that they have chosen. Generally speaking, the DEA pays benefits on a monthly basis with a maximum of $925 per month for a full-time education.
The DEA program provides the opportunity for many military spouses and dependents to receive a post-secondary education in either a traditional college setting or via an online curriculum. Specific certificates or degrees include college degree programs; trade, technical or certificate training; on-the-job training or apprenticeships; correspondence courses; cooperative training; overseas programs that lead to an eventual college degree; and high school programs for those who never graduated.
If you qualify for the DEA program, taking advantage of its many benefits can put your life and career on a new high trajectory path toward success.