Survivor Outreach

Survivor & Dependent Education Assistance (DEA)

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Program is established by Chapter 35 of Title 38 U.S. Code. The DEA Program provides education and training opportunities for eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training as well as correspondence courses for spouses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Eligibility:

DEA benefits are available to 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 Army.
  • a Veteran who died from any cause while such service-connected disability was in existence.
  • a service member missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
  • a service member forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A Servicemember who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective December 23, 2006.

Period of Time 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 may use DEA 20 years from the date of the veteran's death to the benefit. If the VA rated the Veteran permanently and totally disabled with an effective date of up to 3 years from discharge, a spouse will remain eligible for 20 years from the effective date of the rating.

Children may use DEA between the ages of 18 and 26, regardless of marital status.

Note: These limits can be extended under certain circumstances. For details, please visit the web site shown below.

Benefit Highlights:

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 / 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

(Note: schools and programs must be approved by a State Approving Authority (SAA) for VA training)

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. If attendance is less than a month or less than full-time, payments are reduced proportionately. Different payment rates can be found on the VA website shown below.

How to Apply?

You can apply by filling out VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, and submit it to the VA. You can also apply through the VA's website.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please visit the following link:

Department of Veterans Affairs DEA Web Site

WHAT IS THE MARINE GUNNERY SERGEANT JOHN DAVID FRY SCHOLARSHIP?

Public Law 111-32 created the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship effective August 1, 2009. This benefit amended the Post-9/11 GI Bill® to include the children of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Public Law 113-146, The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, expanded eligibility for the Fry Scholarship to surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. This amendment was effective January 1, 2015. Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive:

• Full tuition & fees paid directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition & fees are capped at a statutory maximum amount per academic year.

• A monthly housing allowance

• A books & supplies stipend

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Children and surviving spouses of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for this benefit. A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible, although their eligibility ends on their 33rd birthday. A spouse will lose eligibility to this benefit upon remarriage.

Eligible persons are:

• Entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level

• Not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program

RULES FOR ELIGIBLE CHILDREN SERVING, OR WHO HAVE SERVED, IN THE ARMED FORCES:

• If the child is eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, and/or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), then he or she must relinquish eligibility under one of those programs to receive benefits under Post-9/11 GI Bill

• A child’s character of discharge from his or her own service does not impact eligibility resulting from the line of duty death of a parent

• A child on active duty will receive benefits at the active duty benefit rate

• A child may qualify for up to 36 months of benefits under the Fry Scholarship Program and possibly another 36 months of benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on their own service. An individual may also receive additional entitlement if another parent transfers entitlement to the individual.

CHILDREN WHO HAVE USED OR WISH TO USE ENTITLEMENT UNDER DEPENDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE (DEA)

• If a child is eligible for the Fry Scholarship, he or she may be eligible for DEA. Although the benefits cannot be used at the same time, a child may be eligible for up to 48 months of benefits between the two programs. Find out more about DEA at Survivor and Dependent Education Assistance

• Surviving spouses must make an irrevocable election of which benefit he or she wishes to receive. An election to receive DEA will forfeit the individual’s right to receive Fry Scholarship in the future, and an election to receive the Fry Scholarship will forfeit the individual’s right to receive DEA in the future. The election cannot be changed once it has been submitted, so you should carefully review eligibility and entitlement under both programs before making a decision.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, obtain and complete VA Form 22-5490, Dependents’ Application for VA Education Benefits. Send it to the VA Regional Processing Office with jurisdiction over the state where you will advance your education and training. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or guardian must sign the application.

Be sure to explore potential programs and how much you could receive using the GI Bill by visiting the GI Bill Comparison Tool at GI Bill comparison tool.

For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-888-GIBILL-1 or Visit Our Web Site at Survivor Education and Training

Section 702 of the Choice Act

Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), requires VA to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty at public institutions of higher learning if the schools charge

qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015.

These new requirements will ensure that our Nation’s recently discharged Veterans, and their eligible family members, will not have to bear the cost of out-of-state charges while using their well-deserved education benefits.


 

DO PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE TO OFFER IN- STATE RATES TO ALL VETERANS AND DEPENDENTS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 702?

No. To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to “covered individuals.” A “covered individual” is defined in the Choice Act as:
 

•    A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

• A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

•    A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of
 

higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

•    A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Servicemember’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.


 

Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. MGIB encompasses both the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) and The Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606). Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months; and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. Under Chapter 1606, a reservist must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.

For more information, please visit the official Montgomery GI Bill webpages maintained by the Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD): Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR): Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

The Post-9/11 GI-Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

For more information see our Post-9/11 GI Bill pamphlet

Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits.

This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. The Post-9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.

For details on how much money you will receive using the Post 9-11 GI Bill click here.

Some of the benefits the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay include:

Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under Post-9/11 GI Bill except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on December 15th and your Spring term begins January 10th, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please visit the following links:

VA Post-9/11 Website

DoD Post-9/11 GI Bill Website