Chapter 35: Survivors and Dependents Assistance

The Dependents Educational Assistance Program is the only benefit for individuals without military service. It is for the spouse and/or child of a member of the Armed Forces who has died while on active duty or as the result of a disability that VA has determined service-connected, is 100 percent permanently and totally disabled for a service-related reason, or is listed as prisoner of war or missing in action.

Dependents receive up to 45 months of full-time benefits and are generally eligible for the benefits between the ages of 18 and 26. Note: If a dependent first begins to use their benefit on or after August 1, 2018 they will only be eligible for 36 months of benefit regardless of when they became eligible or whether their Certificate of Eligibility states they have 45 months of benefit.

For a Spouse, benefits end 10 years from the date that the DVA declares eligibility or from the date of death of the veteran.


Common Name: Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance
Eligibility Requirements: Surviving spouse and/or child of a veteran with service connected disability or service connected death or died of any cause while rated "PT" service connected.
Cutoff Dates: Spouse: 10 years from “PT” service connected rating or death. 20 years if vet rated permanent and total disabled within three years of discharge. Child: By 26th birthday or 8 years from date of eligibility established.
Tutorial Assistance: Yes
Miscellaneous: Child between the ages of 18 and 26 (except in certain instances). Child is not eligible prior to 18 years old unless he/she has passed the age of compulsory education and is not in a program to obtain a HS diploma.
Dependent Eligibility: No (If you are the Dependent student receiving the benefit your children are not eligible.)