With two wars that have raged on for ten years now, it is more than likely that there are dependents of former soldiers that have been killed in the line of duty, or been permanently disabled due to their service. Thankfully, there is a program administered by the Veterans Administration (VA) , known as the Survivor & Dependents Assistance, or (DEA).
Often referred to as Chapter 35, DEA is available to the direct dependents of Veterans based on the following criteria:
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 permanent and total service-connected disability was in existence.
-A servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
-A servicemember 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.
it’s important to remember that dependents may only claim the benefit up until the age of 26, except for spouses that have ten years to use the benefit. It offers 45 months of benefits and is similar to the GI Bill in administration. For more info, check out their pamphlet or website. If you think you are eligible go to the VA online application page to get the ball rolling.