The Department of Veterans Affairs strives for excellence in patient care and veteran's benefits for its constituents through high quality, prompt and seamless service to United States veterans.
For fiscal year 2007, there were 343,751 students trained; the student estimate for fiscal year 2008 and 2009 are 348,153 and 351,927 respectively.
Uses and Use Restrictions
The following types of programs may be approved for training under the Montgomery GI Bill: (1) courses at colleges and universities leading to associate, bachelor or graduate degrees (including courses taken via accredited independent study, provided those courses lead to a standard college degree or a certificate that reflects educational attainment offered by an institution of higher learning); (2) courses leading to a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools; (3) apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs for individuals not on active duty; (4) correspondence courses; (5) flight training, if veteran holds a private pilot license and meets the medical requirements upon beginning the training program; (6) state-approved teacher certification programs; (7) preparatory courses for tests necessary for admission to a college or graduate school; (8) reimbursement for licensing and certification tests approved for veterans; (9) entrepreneurship training; (10) reimbursement for national exams for admission to college or for college credit.
What follows is not a complete list of eligibility requirements.
For more information on the newest MGIB program changes go to the VA web-site address listed below.
A high school diploma or equivalency certificate is always required for eligibility to the MGIB as is an honorable discharge from the qualifying period of service unless the individual is currently on active duty.
(1) Individuals initially entering military service on or after July 1, 1985 may be eligible unless they specifically elect not to participate in the MGIB program.
Service members can use the MGIB benefit after completing two continuous years of service.
Veterans whose initial obligation was 3 years or more may use the MGIB benefit after completing three continuous years of active duty, or less time if discharged early for an acceptable reason.
Veterans whose initial obligation was less than 3 years may use the MGIB benefits after serving two years of active duty, or less time if discharged early for an acceptable reason or if they sign up for 4 years in the Selected Reserve.
Any period of active duty may be used to meet these requirements, but generally, periods of active duty cannot be combined.
(2) Individuals who were eligible for the Old (Vietnam-Era) GI Bill benefits as of December 31, 1989, and served on continuous active duty for 3 years after June 30, 1985, may be eligible for the MGIB.
(3) Persons involuntarily separated from the military for certain reasons may be eligible for the MGIB.
Likewise, persons who received voluntary separation incentives may be eligible for the MGIB.
(4) Persons who converted from VEAP (Veterans Educational Assistance Program) to the MGIB during open seasons from October 9, 1996 to October 8, 1997, or from November 1, 2000 to October 3, 2001, may be eligible for the MGIB.
Likewise, certain persons serving full-time under title 32 in the National Guard during the period from July 1, 1985 to November 28, 1989 and who elected the MGIB during the open season from October 9, 1996 through July 8, 1997, may be eligible for the MGIB.
In addition, in very limited circumstances, dependents of a veteran or service member may be eligible for the MGIB if the veteran or service member transferred entitlement to those dependents.
As stated above under Applicant Eligibility.
Military discharge certificate (DD 214) sometimes required; enrollment certification by institution offering training required in most cases.
Aplication and Award Process
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
An application (VA Form 22-1990) may be obtained from any VA Regional Office or from the web site www.GIBILL.va.gov and submitted to the appropriate VA Regional Processing Office.
Awards are authorized at the designated VA Regional Processing Office.
Veterans have 10 years after release from service to complete their education. The basic 10-year period may be extended for those veterans who were prevented from beginning or completing their chosen program of education because they were held by a foreign government or power or because of a physical or mental disability not the result of their own willful misconduct. Persons who reenter active duty for 90 days or more receive a new 10-year period upon completion of such service.
Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 30. Also known as the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB).
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
At least 90.83 percent of applications were processed within 90 days or less in fiscal year 2006 and 99.47 percent in fiscal year 2007.
Appeals are available through a special board; average response time is 109.0 days in 2006 and 112.4 days in 2007.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Veterans receive monthly payments in most instances. Service members generally receive lump sum payments for each enrollment period. Accelerated payments (one-time payments) equal to 60% of the cost of the course are available for certain high cost, high tech courses leading to employment in high tech industries. Advance payment of the first 2 months of benefits for an enrollment period may be available. Payments for correspondence school training are issued quarterly.
Post Assistance Requirements
The educational allowance will not be paid if participants do not pursue their courses in accordance with established policies and regulations of the educational institution they attend, and are not making satisfactory progress as required by law and VA regulations.
Students must verify their pursuit at institutions of higher learning and for courses not leading to a standard college degree on a monthly basis.
Attendance for OJT/apprenticeship training also must be certified monthly.
Students certify lessons completed under correspondence training on a quarterly basis.
(Direct Payments) FY 07 $1,991,078,000; FY 08 est $2,164,929,000; and FY 09 est $2,209,673,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Currently, the full-time monthly benefit can range from $873 to over $2,000 depending on the length of the service obligation, military incentives, military career field, branch of service and voluntary contributions. In most cases, benefits last for 36 (48 months when combined with other VA education benefits) calendar months of full-time training. The work-study allowance is limited to the higher of the Federal minimum wage, or the State minimum wage where work is performed. Tutorial assistance can be up to a maximum of $1,200.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
38 CFR 21.7000 - 21.7320. "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-0-01, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is: 0051-000-00233-4.
Regional or Local Office
Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Office, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9800.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
A part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in celebration of #GivingTuesday, which will take place this year on December 3, Kathy Calvin and Henry Timms vouch that we are living in a new era of philanthropy.