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VA Education Benefits

Benefits By Chapter

Chapter 30 - Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB)

The Montgomery GI BIll program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30.

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Chapter 31 - VA Vocational Rehabilitation

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, USC, Chapter 31 and Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21. It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. This program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For Veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, this program offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.

Services that may be provided by the VR&E Program include:

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment
  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
  • Employment services such as job-training, job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance
  • Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
  • On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school
  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
  • Independent living services for Veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities

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Chapter 33 - Post-9/11 G.I. Bill & Transfer of Eligibility (TOE)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged 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.

Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits.

This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for up to 15 years following your release from active duty. The Post-9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, recipients may have different eligibility percentages based on the number of months spent on active duty orders (Title X orders). When determining what you will receive from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, remember to multiply all maximums by your percentage rate. For example, a recipient who has received a 60% eligibility rating will receive up to $600 annually for the book stipend ($1000 x 60% = $600). This percentage rate is applied to all applicable benefits received under the Post-9/11 GI Bill - tuition and fees, book stipend, and monthly stipend.

If you are taking ONLY independent learning or online/distance learning courses under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your monthly stipend rate at 100% eligibilty and full-time rate of pursuit is equal to 50% of the national average payable housing allowance ($754.50/month). Please visit the VA GI Bill website for additional information: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/independent_distance_learning.asp.

Do you want to see what your Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover at the University of Montana? Use the GI Bill Comparision Tool!

Some of the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill include:

  • Payment of eligibile in-state tuition & fees directly to the school (based on eligibility percentage)
  • Book stipend of up to $1000 annually (at 100% eligibility)
  • Monthly stipend equal to the BAH rate for an E5 with dependents for the area. As of August 1, 2014, Missoula's monthly stipend rate for Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients is $1404/month (at 100% eligibility)

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Chapter 33 - Yellow Ribbon

The Post-9/11 Yellow Ribbon program is an agreement between the VA and a participating institution.  This program helps out of state students cover the difference between out of state costs and in state costs.  Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active duty servicemembers and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active duty servicemembers may be eligible if the servicemember is qualified at the 100% rate).

Therefore, you may be eligible if:

  • You served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
  • You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

Click here to learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program

Chapter 35 - Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)

Dependents' Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. 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.

Eligibility

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. This change is effective December 23, 2006.

Click here to learn more about Chapter 35 - Dependents Educational Assistance

Chapter 1606 - MGIB Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

The Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) 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.

Eligibility

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training, it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after September 30, 1990;
  • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT);
  • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement;
  • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit. You will also retain MGIB - SR eligibility if you were discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct. Your eligibility period may be extended if you are ordered to active duty.

Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance (REAP)

REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.

$600 Buy-up Program

Some reservists may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5400 in additional GI Bill benefits. You must be a member of a Ready Reserve component (Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, or Inactive National Guard) to pay into the "buy-up" program.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. You may use these benefits for degree, certificate, correspondence, apprenticeship/on-the-job training programs, and vocational flight training programs. In certain circumstances, remedial, deficiency, and refresher training may also be available.

Benefit entitlement is 1 to 36 months depending on the number of monthly contributions. You have 10 years from your release from active duty to use VEAP benefits. If there is entitlement not used after the 10-year period, your portion remaining in the fund will be automatically refunded.

Eligibility

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Entered service for the first time between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985;
  • Opened a contribution account before April 1, 1987;
  • Voluntarily contributed from $25 to $2700;
  • Completed your first period of service; and
  • Were discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • If you are currently on active duty and wish to receive VEAP benefits, you must have at least 3 months of contributions available.

Contributions may be withdrawn if you do not meet the basic eligibility requirements or if you formally request a refund of the contributions withheld.