Veterans Education Benefits Regulations
DOD Change to Tuition Assistance Program
The Department of Defense (DOD) no longer authorizes tuition assistance for classes for which a member also is receiving education benefits under the following:
- The Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve program (chapter 1606 of title 10, United States Code),
- The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (chapter 1607 of title 10, United States Code), or
- Any GI Bill programs other than either the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty program (chapter 30 of title 38, United States Code) or the Post-9/11 GI Bill program (chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code).
Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act
The majority of the changes enhance or expand education benefits for veterans, service members, families and survivors. For additional information, visit benefits.va.gov/gibill/forevergibill.asp.
The 15-year time limitation to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits is eliminated for:
- veterans who left active duty on or after January 1, 2013,
- children who became eligible for the Fry Scholarship on or after January 1, 2013, and
- all Fry scholarship eligible spouses.
Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014
"Choice Act” as it pertains to the in-state tuition provision – Section 702.
To remain approved for VA’s GI Bill programs, NC schools must charge in-state tuition and fee amounts to “covered individuals,” as described, to include same-sex spouses and children (biological, adopted, pre-adoptive and stepchildren of same-sex spouses) for terms that start after 7/1/15.
As of July 1, 2017, a "covered individual" is defined in the Choice Act as:
- A Veteran using Montgomery GI Bill-AD (CH30) or Post 9/11 GI Bill (CH33) who lives in a state in which the college is located (regardless of legal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a qualifying period of active duty service of 90 days or more
- Anyone using transferred CH33 Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (TOE) who lives in a state in which the college is located (regardless of legal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a qualifying period of active duty service of 90 days or more
- A spouse or child of an active duty member using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the college is located (regardless of legal state of residence)
- A spouse or child using benefits under the CH33 Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (FRY) who lives in the state in which the college is located (regardless of legal state of residence)
IMPORTANT: Individuals who initially meet the above requirements maintain “covered status”, even if they are outside the three-year window or change programs, as long as they continue to use Post-9/11 GI Bill (CH33) or Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD CH30) benefits and remain continuously enrolled at the same institution of higher learning. Continuity of enrollment is not broken by regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms. VA students do not need to enroll in summer sessions to maintain continuous enrollment.
Situations Not Covered by the Choice Act:
- Once students changes schools, they are no longer covered under Section 702
- Service members on active duty are not eligible for the Choice Act
Persons who first entered active duty after June 30, 1985, are generally eligible. Some Vietnam Era veterans and certain veterans separated under special programs are also eligible. The veteran needs to have received an honorable discharge and continuously served for three years, or two years, if first enlisted for that, or two years of an obligation to serve four years in the Selected Reserve and must have entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty. The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following release from active duty.
Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment and achieve independence in daily living.
The program offers a number of services to help each eligible disabled veteran reach his or her rehabilitation goal. These services include vocational and personal counseling, education and training, financial aid, job assistance, and if needed, medical and dental treatment. Services generally last up to 48 months and can be extended in certain instances.
To be eligible, the veteran should first be awarded a monthly VA disability compensation payment (in most cases) and must have received or will receive a discharge that is other than dishonorable. Eligibility is also based on meeting the following conditions:
- Have received an honorable or other than dishonorable discharge
- Have a VA service-connected disability rating of 10 percent or more
- Veteran needs Vocational Rehabilitation to overcome an employment handicap
- It has been less than 12 years since VA notified the veteran of the qualified SCD
Detailed information and the online application can be found at benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/ or contact the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Office, 251 North Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27155. Telephone: 800.827.1000
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program for individuals who served at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001. To be eligible for 100 percent of the benefit, an individual should have served an aggregate of 36 months of active duty service or have been discharged for a service-connected disability after 30 days of continuous service. Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are payable for training pursued on or after August 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date. Once individuals elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, they are no longer eligible to receive benefits under the program from which they elected the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Individuals should carefully consider their educational goals before applying and electing benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Service members whose last date of active duty is on or after January 1, 2013, do not have a delimiting date for their benefit. Service members who separated prior to January 1, 2013, have 15 years from their last date of active duty to use their benefit.
Important Note - The $600 Buy Up is not payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Chapter 33: Transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill - Benefits to Dependents (TEB/TOE)
For the first time in history, service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Program are able to transfer unused education benefits to their spouses or children starting August 1, 2009. Department of Defense guidance, issued June 23, 2009, establishes the criteria for eligibility and transfer of those education benefits.
For details regarding eligibility for this transfer, go to gibill.va.gov. All applications will be submitted through the Transferability of Educational Benefits (TEB) website located at dmdc.osd.mil/TEB/. An individual approved to transfer an entitlement to educational assistance under this section may transfer the individual’s entitlement to:
- The individual’s spouse
- One or more of the individual's children
- Any combination of spouse and child
- An eligible service member may transfer up to the total months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, or the entire 36 months if the member hasn’t used any months. A family member should be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting Systems (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits, at the time of transfer to receive transferred educational benefits.
The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) currently pays a benefit equal to the Post-9/11 GI Bill for children and spouses of soldiers who have died in the line of duty since September 10, 2001. Beneficiaries attending school may receive up to their full tuition and fees for a public school, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program with 36 months of entitlement.
- A surviving spouse can receive benefits for terms beginning on or after January 1, 2015. A surviving spouse’s eligibility generally ends 15 years after the Servicemember’s death. A spouse will lose eligibility for this benefit upon remarriage if this occurs during the 15-year period.
- Children are eligible for this benefit from age 18 – 33. A child’s marital status has no effect on eligibility.
- Fry Scholarship recipients who become eligible on or after January 1, 2013, no longer have a delimiting date. (Their Post 9/11 GI Bill no longer expires.)
The Dependents Educational Assistance Program is an education benefit for eligible spouses and children of certain veterans. To be eligible, the student should be the spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces who has died while on active duty or as the result of a disability that VA has determined is service-connected, or is 100 percent permanently and totally disabled for a service-related reason.
- Dependents, who enroll after August 1, 2018, receive 36 months of benefits. Recipients are usually between the ages of 18 to 26.
- For a spouse, benefits end 10 years from the date that the DVA declares eligibility or 20 years from the date of death of the veteran.
Chapter 1606 is for individuals in the Selected Reserve or National Guard. Members should have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. An officer will need to have agreed to serve six years in addition to original obligation. Eligible members need to complete initial active duty for training (IADT), obtain a high school diploma or equivalency before applying for benefits and remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit. The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for determining eligibility and issuing DD Form 2384-1 Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE). Tuition Assistance, awarded by the respective branch of service, may be available to members of the National Guard or Active Duty Personnel. Eligibility requirements are available at the member’s unit command.
Important Note: On November 25, 2015, the REAP program was sunset by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016. Call 1.888.442.4551 to speak with an Education Call Center Agent for questions about benefits or eligibility for education assistance programs.