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Dependent Education Assistance Program

Did you know 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

Did you know 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

Did you know 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

Did you know 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.












Insurance Discounts

Did you know many car insurance providers offer special rates or discounts to active duty service members, veterans, and their families?  Insurance providers can offer perks like discounts on vehicles parked on military installations and discounts on vehicles stored during active duty deployments.

Did You Know?

Court Decides Back Pay Dates

Did you know after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines that a veteran deserves disability benefits for an impairment connected to a disease or injury suffered during military service, the effective date of the award depends on when the veteran initiated the claim for benefits?  For example, in 1996, Robert Sellers filed a standard form for disability benefits in which he listed specific physical ailments and other “disabilities occurring during active duty service.” At that time, the VA gave Sellers benefits for physical conditions, but did not evaluate him for any psychiatric conditions. In 2009, Sellers sought benefits specifically for psychiatric symptoms, which he received. His petition in (Sellers v. McDonough) concerns the effective date for those benefits – 1996 or 2009. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive jurisdiction over the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, ruled that 2009 was the effective date because Sellers’ 1996 form did not identify any psychiatric conditions for which he sought benefits. Sellers maintains that the form is not dispositive (providing or controlling a final outcome) and that the VA in 1996 should have examined his impairments comprehensively.


Always Consult With An Accredited Agent

Did you know that survivors of veterans whose cause of death was listed as COVID-19 plus other contributing factors (service-connected conditions) should always consult an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to see if the veterans’ death might lead to a claim as a service-connected disability contributing to his/her COVID-19 death?   Other contributing factors could always be a possibility.











Chemical Waste Site

Did you know Fort Ord, the former U.S. Army post on Monterey Bay in California, closed in 1994 under recommendation from the BRAC commission of 1991?  Some of the land has been designated as national monument land while other areas have been considered for commercial development. At the same time, Fort Ord is one of the most complex chemical waste sites in the entire country. 


Gulf War Veterans Surpass Vietnam Veterans

Did you know Gulf War-era veterans now account for the largest share of all U.S. veterans, having surpassed Vietnam-era veterans in 2016, according to the VA’s 2018 population model estimates? VA estimates for 2021 indicate there are 5.9 million American veterans who served during the Vietnam era and 7.8 million who served in the Gulf War era, which spans from August 1990 through the present.


Loan Guaranty Service Certificate of Eligibility

Did you know the Loan Guaranty Service Certificate of Eligibility is moving to VA’s eBenefits platform? Applying for the certificate is the first step in obtaining a VA-backed home loan. During the buying process, this confirms to the lender that you qualify for the VA home loan benefit.










Specially Adapted Housing Grant

Did you know the Specially Adapted Housing Grant and the “View My Documents” feature will be migrated from VBA to the eBenefits platform?


Locate VSO

Did you know the search feature on VA’s website is moving to the eBenefits platform?  Veterans will easily be able to find a veteran service organization (VSO), veteran agent or claims representative using the search features on eBenefits.  Also, veterans will have the ability to appoint an attorney, claim agent, or VSO to act on their behalf in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for VA benefits.