Federal VA Benefits
Am I eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
- You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001, and you:
- are still on active duty or were honorably discharged from active duty; or
- were released from active duty & placed on the retired list or temporary disability retired list; or
- were released from active duty & transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; or
- were released from active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces.
- You may also be eligible if you were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001.
If I am eligible for other VA Education Benefits, am I eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
- If you are eligible for Chapters 30, 1606 or 1607, and you qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may make an irrevocable election to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Note: Once you elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you will no longer be eligible to receive benefits under the program from which you elected the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
How many months of assistance can I receive?
- Generally, you may receive up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Months of entitlement which you have already used under another Education Benefit (i.e., Ch. 30) will be subtracted from the amount of months you have available under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you have exhausted your Ch. 30 benefits, you may be eligible for up to 12 months of additional benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
How much will I receive?
- Based on your length of active duty service, you are entitled to a percentage of the following:
- Cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the in-state undergraduate tuition at an institution of higher learning (paid to school).
- Monthly housing allowance equal to the BAH payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as your school (paid to you).
- Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year (paid to you).
- Note 1: Monthly housing allowance benefits are prorated based upon rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest multiple of 10. For instance, if you are enrolled in 7 credits when 12 credits are full-time, your rate of pursuit is .58 and you will receive 60% of the applicable BAH rate. If you are enrolled in 10 credits when 12 credits is full-time, your rate of pursuit is .83, and you will receive 80% of the applicable BAH rate.
- Note 2: Those pursuing training solely through Distance Learning (i.e., online classes) will be eligible to receive a housing stipend equal to 50% of the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. Note 3: The housing allowance is not payable to individuals on active duty.
How long am I eligible?
- You will be eligible for benefits for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. If you were released for a service-connected disability after at least 30 days of continuous service, you will also be eligible for benefits for 15 years.
Can I transfer my entitlement to my dependents?
- Under certain circumstances, you may. Visit the website at www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/transfer_of_benefits.html for information on transferring Ch. 33 benefits to dependents.
Will I be paid for the period between semesters?
- No. Benefits will end on the last day of the semester, and begin again on the first day of the new semester.
How do I receive monthly payments?
- After selecting a school and submitting your application to the VA, complete your MCC Request for Benefits, so the school official will complete an enrollment certification. This will be sent to the VA Regional Processing Office. If you have basic eligibility for benefits, and your program or course is approved, VA will process your enrollment based the dates and number of hours the school official submits.
- If you use Ch. 30, 1606 or 1607, and are in a degree or certificate program at a college or university, you will not receive payment until you have verified your attendance. Your enrollment can be verified starting on the last calendar day of the month by using our Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave or by calling our toll free Inter-active Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at 1-877-823-2378.
Can I receive payments by Direct Deposit?
- Payments by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer are strongly encouraged. Payments are sent directly to your savings or checking account. To establish or change your direct deposit information, click on the ‘Direct Deposit Enrollment Form’ link after you have logged into WAVE or contact the Regional Processing Office in Muskogee, OK at 888-442-4551. Changes and enrollments are usually processed the next business day.
How can I change my address with the VA?
- Promptly notify the VA of any change in your address. Click on the ‘Change Address’ link after you have logged into WAVE or contact the Regional Processing Office in Muskogee, OK at 888-442-4551. Changes are usually processed the next business day.
What should I do if there is a change in my enrollment?
- If you change your enrollment, immediately tell the certifying official at your school. Request that the certifying official notify the VA of the change. If VA does not receive prompt notice of a change, you could be liable for an overpayment of benefits.
What happens if I change my enrollment?
- If you withdraw from one or more of your courses after the end of the school’s drop period, VA may reduce or stop your benefits on the date of reduction or withdrawal. If you withdraw from a course after the end of the drop period, you may have to repay all benefits for the course unless you can show that the change was due to mitigating circumstances. VA defines “mitigating circumstances” as unavoidable and unexpected events that directly interfere with your pursuit of a course and are beyond your control.
- Examples of reasons VA may accept are:
- Extended illness
- Severe illness or death in your immediate family
- Unscheduled changes in your employment
- Lack of child care
- Examples of reasons VA may not accept are:
- Withdrawal to avoid a failing grade
- Dislike of the instructor
- Too many courses attempted
- Note: The VA may ask you to furnish evidence to support your reason for a change. If a serious injury or illness caused the change, obtain a statement from your doctor. If a change in employment caused the change, obtain a statement from your employer.
- The first time you withdraw from up to six credit hours, VA will “excuse” the withdrawal and pay benefits for the period attended. Remember, this only applies to your first withdrawal. If you receive a grade that does not count toward graduation, you may have to repay all benefits for the course.
This page was last modified on April 10, 2019