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Chapter 35 - Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

Veteran in paradeGeneral Overview 

The Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents and spouses of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of veterans who died while active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. 

Basic Eligibility


Spouse, children of a veteran and/or service member who meets at least one of the following requirements:

  • Is determined to be permanently and totally disabled from service connected causes.

  • Is on active duty and is likely to be discharged with a permanent and total disability.

  • Died in service.

  • Died of service connected causes.

  • Is currently missing in action or caputured in the line of duty.

To Enroll

Required Forms

  1. Submit Certificate of Eligibility (received in the mail from the VA after processing application for benefits) to UC Merced's Veteran Certifying Official.

  2. Each semester, the student must fill out a Veteran Enrollment Card and submit to UC Merced's Veteran Certifying Official no later than 30 days after the start of the semester.

Changes to Schedule

  • All changes to the spouse/dependents schedule (major/minor, adds, drops, class cancellations, and/or withdrawals) must be reported to UC Merced's Veteran Certifying Official.
  • If you are transferring in from another school you are required to complete and return VA Form 22-5495 to the VA Regional Processing Office.


If a spouse/dependent needs a tutor, they should apply for tuitorial assistance.

  1. Complete form VA Form 22-1990t 
  2. Take form to your tutor to sign and date the application
  3. Take form to UC Merced's Veteran Certifying Official to sign and date the application
  4. Mail the completed form to VA Regional Processing Office after your tutoring is complete.


  • The spouse/dependent must be attending at least half-time.
  • Contact, negotiation of wages and pay is the spouse/dependent responsibility.
  • The spouse/dependent is eligible to receive $100 per month, up to $600 per semester and up to $1200 total, for tutor-reimbursement expenses.


Contact Information

UC Merced's Veteran Certifying Official
209-228-7641 |

Veterans Administration Educational Office

Veterans Administration Direct Deposit Information