Survivors’ and Dependents’
Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
Learn about the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance by visiting the DEA page. If you’re the child or spouse of a Veteran or service member who has died, is captured or missing, or has disabilities, you may be able to get help paying for school or job training through the DEA program—also called Chapter 35.
You may be able to get these benefits if both you and the Veteran or service member meet certain eligibility requirements.
One of the descriptions listed below must be true:
- The Veteran or service member is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability, or
- The Veteran or service member died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability, or
- The Veteran or service member is missing in action or was captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or
- The Veteran or service member was forcibly detained (held) or interned in the line of duty by a foreign entity, or
- The Veteran or service member is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability (effective December 23, 2006)
If you’re the child of a Veteran or service member
- You can get benefits if you’re between the ages of 18 and 26, except in certain cases. You may be married or unmarried.
- If you’re over 18 years old and using DEA, you can’t get Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from us.
- If you join the military, you can’t use this benefit while on active duty. And if you want to use this benefit after you leave the service, you can’t have a dishonorable discharge. Military service can extend your eligibility, but this increase doesn’t usually go past your 31st birthday.
If you’re the spouse of a Veteran or service member
- Your benefits start on the date we conclude that you qualify or on the date of the Veteran’s death, and last for 10 years.
- If we rated the Veteran as permanently and totally disabled, with an effective date that’s 3 years after discharge from active duty, you’ll qualify for benefits for 20 years from that effective date. This new policy began on October 10, 2008. We won’t pay benefits for training you started before this date.
- If the service member died on active duty, your benefits end 20 years from the date of death.
- You can get DIC payments from us and use DEA benefits.
How to Apply
- Veterans who wish to use their VA educational benefits for the first time should apply online at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/ and complete a Form 22-5490 - Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, to receive a Certificate/Letter of Eligibility.
- If educational benefits have previously been used, complete a Form 22-1995 - Change of Program or Place of Training, online at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/ to receive a Certificate of Eligibility.
- Submit the following items to the Rice University Office of the Registrar:
Students enrolled or interested in enrolling in a degree program offered through the Jones Graduate School of Business, please visit https://business.rice.edu/military/benefits for important steps on applying to use your VA education benefit.
For more information, please visit the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) page on the VA website.