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Dependent Education Assistance Program

Dependents' Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. Effective October 1, 2013 some DEA beneficiaries may be eligible for 81 months of GI Bill benefits if they are eligible for more than one education benefit.


These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.



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.











South Dakota Bonus

South Dakota offers a bonus to members of the Armed Forces who were legal residents of the state for no less than six months immediately preceding their period of active duty and who served on active duty during one or more of the following periods: (1) Aug. 2, 1990 to March 3, 1991; (2) March 4, 1990 to Dec. 31, 1992, with exceptions; (3) Jan. 1, 1993 to Sept. 10, 2001, with exceptions; (4) Sept. 11, 2001 to a date yet to be determined. Also, Veterans with qualifying service before Dec 31, 1992 and after Jan 1, 1993 may receive two separate bonuses of up to $500.00 each. Veterans may apply through the nearest County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer. Those living outside of South Dakota may apply by e-mail at Be sure to include military branch and dates of service. Veterans may also request an application and instructions by calling 605-773-7251.


National Defense Authorization Act

A provision of the National Defense Authorization Act Fiscal Year 2008 has established a Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) for surviving spouses who are the beneficiary of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity and their SBP annuity is partially or fully offset by the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).


Aid & Attendance Rules

New Aid & Attendance regulations may penalize veterans for gifts they might have given to their children for birthdays, holidays or even as payment for providing care. Penalties for this type of gifting can deny veterans vital assistance through the Aid & Attendance program for up to ten years. The new Aid & Attendance regulations also add restrictions to the type of assistance that will be allowed for qualification for Aid & Attendance. It’s possible that veterans that are at the earliest stage of medical need and live in independent living facilities will no longer qualify for Aid & Attendance.











Free Online Assessments

Military Pathways offers a free, anonymous mental health self-assessment online for veterans, active duty servicemembers, and retired service personnel and their families. Check on symptoms of depression, PTSD or alcohol abuse. Although the screening cannot provide a diagnosis, it can help determine if you should see a health professional. It also provides resources on where to get help. (Click here)

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