Gone are the days when you could take on additional assignments to cover the costs of your child’s college education. If you’re a retired military veteran working a part-time job also might not meet the rising costs of college tuition. Fortunately for you and your dependent children, you may be able to use programs like the Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA) to pay for your child’s college education.
Think about it. You served for four or more years in the United States military, enduring days and weeks without being with your spouse and children as you completed combat duty or other special assignments. If your children were school-aged while you served in the military, they may have changed schools several times to accompany you to new duty stations. One way the military and government want to repay you and your family for their service is by offering your children tuition assistance.
Through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Survivors and Dependents Assistance program your dependent children may be eligible to receive college tuition assistance if you were permanently or totally disabled while in the military. The disability must be directly related to or caused by your military service. You also must have received an honorable discharge from the military.
Specific benefits associated with the DEA program include:
Your children must be at least 18 years of age and not older than 26 years. Should your children be younger or older than 18 or 26, check with your local Veterans Affairs office to see if they can receive an exception so they can still get the tuition assistance. It doesn’t matter whether your children are married or single; both married and single dependent children can receive the benefit.
• Payments to cover up to 45 months of college tuition
• Ability to postpone then start receiving the assistance again if your children enter the military themselves (the assistance can be postponed while your children serve in the military and reactivated after they leave the military)
• Opportunities to complete certificate, degree and cooperative training programs at accredited colleges and universities
• Chances to get apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs paid for by the military
• Reimbursement for the costs of licensing examinations, up to $2,000 per examination