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Federal Program Benefits

Information below is taken in part from the Veteran Affairs website at www.va.gov

Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (the “GI Bill”) expands the educational benefits available to many veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001.  The Post 9/11 GI Bill is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals charged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.  You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Benefits Include:

• Tuition and fees at a public institution (not including room, board, waivable fees except health insurance, and penalty fees), paid directly to the school.
• A monthly housing stipend to those enrolled more than half-time. 
• An annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000
• This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits.  Generally, you have up to 15 years following your release from active duty to utilize these benefits.

*If you are on active duty you will not receive the housing allowance.

Receiving These Benefits:

If you are eligible for any level of benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you must elect these benefits and request a Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.  Once you have received your Certificate of Eligibility, you must provide a copy of the certificate to your school’s VA Certifying Official.  Tuition and fees payments will be sent directly to the school; stipends and housing payments will be sent directly to you.

The Yellow Ribbon Program supplements the base benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill by allowing more expensive educational institutions to enter into dollar-for-dollar matching agreements with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.  All students in all degree and certificate programs are eligible for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits, given they meet the maximum eligibility level (100%) of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Westfield State currently participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will cover the cost of out-of-state tuition (currently $3525). The Yellow Ribbon program  does not apply to in-state or DGCE students because neither group rate out-of-state tuition. 

For more info on Post-911: 
http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/index.html
 


Montgomery GI Bill--Active Duty Chapter 30

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. MGIB encompasses the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) and The Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606). Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months; and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation.

The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and participation in “kicker” funding.  

Receiving These Benefits:

Active duty veterans who have not used any of their MGIB benefits will need to provide the school Certifying Official with an original or certified copy of their DD Form214 to be sent to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  You can also apply on line through the VA by filling out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits at www.gibill.va.gov.

Benefits are paid directly to the student, not to the school.  Veterans receiving benefits under Chapter 30 must verify their enrollment each month (through WAVE) to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive payment for that month.  Veterans and reservists must still notify the Certifying Official when their enrollment changes, even though the change has been reported to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through the WAVE system.

WAVE online verification link: https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do

For more info on Montgomery, Chapter 30: www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/montgomery_gibill/active_duty.html


Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)

The Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.  Under Chapter 1606, a reservist must be actively drilling and have a six year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.

You may use this education assistance program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances.

The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training.  If you are attending school, your payment is based on your training time (i.e. full time, half time, etc). Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits.

Receiving These Benefits:

You need to get a Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) (DD form 2341-1) from your unit. Your unit will also code your eligibility into the Department of Defense personnel system so that VA may verify your eligibility.  

Complete VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits, with your Certifying Official or online.  If you have started training, take your application and your Notice of Basic Eligibility to your Certifying Official and ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, which will be sent to VA.

Benefits are paid directly to the student, not to the school.  Veterans receiving benefits under Chapter 1606 must verify their enrollment each month (through WAVE) to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive payment for that month.   Veterans and reservists must still notify the Certifying Official when their enrollment changes, even though the change has been reported to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through the WAVE system.

WAVE online verification link: https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do

For more info on Montgomery GI, Chapter 1606: http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/montgomery_gibill/selected_reserve.html
 


Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (Chapter 1607)

REAP (Chapter 1607 of title 10, U.S. Code) is a benefit providing educational assistance to members of the reserve components who are called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress.  The “reserve components” consist of Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Army IRR, Air Force IRR, Navy IRR and Marine Corps IRR.

Eligibility will be determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as appropriate. Generally, a member of a reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10, U.S.C., for at least 90 consecutive days under a contingency operation is eligible for REAP. Note: “Contingency operation” means the current Iraq or Afghanistan operations and may include other operations.

Receiving These Benefits: 

Students wishing to receive these benefits would apply for Montgomery GI benefits as normal and indicate REAP (chapter 1607). You will need a copy of DD form 214 indicating your active service.
Benefits are paid directly to the student, not to the school.

WAVE online verification link: https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do

For more information on REAP, Chapter 1607:
http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/reap.html


Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Ch. 35)

Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. 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 service-connected disability was in existence.
• A service member missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
• A service member forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
• A service member who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective December 23, 2006.

The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. 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.

Receiving These Benefits:

You can download or complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance online at www.gibill.va.gov.  If you do not complete the form online, you can obtain one from the Certifying Official at the school.  The Certifying Official will then send it to the VA office. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or guardian must sign the application.

If you have started training, take your application to your school. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, and send both forms to VA.

For more information on DEA, Chapter 35:
http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/dea.html


Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch. 31)

This benefit is available to full and part-time veterans who have at least 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Specific eligibility requirements can be found at the VA website, www.va.gov . A Veteran who is eligible for an evaluation under Chapter 31 must first apply for services and receive an appointment with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). If an employment handicap is established and the Veteran is found entitled to services, the VRC and the Veteran will continue counseling to select a track of services and jointly develop a plan to address the Veteran’s rehabilitation and employment needs. Educational benefits include payment for tuition, fees, and a monthly stipend.

Receiving These Benefits:

In order to receive these benefits, a veteran must work with a vocational rehabilitation counselor.  Once a plan is in place that includes educational training, the vocational rehabilitation counselor will provide the school Certifying Official with an Authorization and Certification of Entrance Into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status Form. If you feel you may be eligible for this program then contact:

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Division
VA Regional Office
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
617-303-5533

For more info on Vocational Rehabilitation, Chapter 31:  http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/