Veterans have access to a myriad of benefits through the Office of Veteran's Affairsf, including financial support for education under the G.I. Bill. This is meant to help ease the transition from military service to civilian life and set military families up for success. With the benefits offered by the G.I. Bill, veterans can obtain the resources they need to pursue degrees and certifications that increase their career prospects. Veterans who have become disabled as a result of their military service and can no longer work may transfer their G.I. benefits to dependents.
Determining what G.I. benefits you qualify for, collecting evidence of eligibility, and coordinating communication with the VA during the claims process are tasks most effectively handled by an experienced VA-accredited attorney. Our team regularly represents former service members with outstanding results. Veterans who have questions about how to file a VA claim to obtain G.I. benefits should reach out to us at (866) 481-5347 or fill out our online contact form today.
Table of contents
- The GI Bill Offers Veterans Funding For Education and Related Expenses
- Understanding Post-9/11 G.I. Benefits for Veterans
- The Advantages and Limitations of the Montgomery GI Bill
- Veteran Readiness and Employment Offers Disabled Veterans Additional Educational Benefits
- Contact Our VA-Accredited Attorneys for Help With Your GI Bill Claim
The GI Bill Offers Veterans Funding For Education and Related Expenses
After serving in the military, most veterans are entitled to various types of support, such as the financial compensation offered through a veterans disability claim, housing assistance, or the G.I Bill. Veterans have had access to G.I. benefits through VA claims for nearly 80 years. During the course of World War II, the U.S. government began working on a solution to thwart the unemployment crisis that was anticipated when millions of service members returned from fighting. The Servicemen's Readjustment Act, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill, continues to support veterans and their families in the pursuit of higher education or specialized training.
The hope was that this funding would make veterans more employable in the workforce. In its modern iteration, there are two types, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB). Veterans cannot use both simultaneously, and claiming Post-9/11 benefits disqualifies them from using MGIB in the future. Under certain circumstances, veterans may be able to deplete their MGIB and then claim a portion of Post-9/11 benefits.
Just like with veterans disability claims, there are different levels of benefits available in a G.I. claim. The amount of financial assistance you receive is largely dependent on the length of your military service, which type of education or training program you are entering, and the nature of the institution. You may still receive G.I. Bill benefits even if you are receiving disability benefits, as the former is meant to provide an advantage, while the latter is meant to reimburse.
Understanding Post-9/11 G.I. Benefits for Veterans
For veterans who served on active duty after September 10th, 2001, post-9/11 GI benefits can be applied to undergraduate or graduate degrees, for both public and private institutions. However, there are caps on coverage for private and foreign institutions. Veterans who served for a minimum of 90 days on active duty can receive 50% of the full post-9/11 G.I. benefits, while those who served on active duty for at least 36 months are entitled to 100% of the post-9/11 G.I. education benefits, provided that they meet the other requirements.
At the maximum, a veteran can claim 48 months of education benefits through the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, though 36 months is more typical. Tuition and fees are paid directly to the school. Eligible veterans and their dependents may request educational and career counseling for guidance. With some stipulations, you can receive post-9/11 G.I. benefits for the following:
- Tuition and fees
- Books and supplies
- Relocation from rural areas
Veterans who are interested in acquiring specific career training can also file claims to receive post-9/11 G.I. benefits, with some limitations on coverage. For example, veterans attending welding school, learning HVAC repair, becoming EMTs, or completing beauty school can apply their benefits to costs like tuition, fees, and supplies compensated under the post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The VA will also cover certain expenses for flight school and correspondence courses. If you are doing on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, you can apply to receive compensation for the following:
- Books and supplies
- Housing (Monthly Housing Allowance)
- Testing fees for licenses and certifications
Veterans who were discharged prior to January 1st, 2013 have 15 years to use their Post-9/11 G.I. benefits or pass them along to a dependent, but this expiration date does not apply to those who left the military after January 1st, 2013. Disabled veterans may also choose to transfer the totality or remainder of their G.I. benefits to their dependent spouse and children.
The Advantages and Limitations of the Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery G.I. Bill can be broken down into two categories, which are the Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and the Montgomery G.I. Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). MGIB recipients receive direct, flat payments on a monthly basis. The military also offers service members the option to contribute to the $600 Montgomery GI Bill Buy-Up program, which bolsters future MGIB payments. Veterans with longer service terms tend to qualify for more benefits as compared to those who only served for the minimum qualifying amount.
These payments can go towards education at a public or private institution, as well as vocational schools, or on-the-job training and apprenticeships, just like the post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. Generally, veterans have 10 years to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits. They cannot be transferred to dependent spouses or children, unlike post-9/11 G.I. benefits. Veterans must attend school full-time to get the full benefits of the MGIB claim, and they do not receive financial support for housing, books, or supplemental assistance through initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Additionally, to be eligible for MGIB education benefits, longer service terms are required. For MGIB-AD, a veteran must have served for at least 2 years on active duty. Service members seeking MGIB Selected Reserve benefits must demonstrate a 6-year service commitment in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard. While there is a minimum service requirement for GI benefits, veterans who developed a service-related disability before they were able to fulfill this condition can still qualify to receive G.I. education benefits.
Veteran Readiness and Employment Offers Disabled Veterans Additional Educational Benefits
Another type of education benefit, known as Veteran Readiness and Employment, or VR&E, is available to veterans with a disability rating of at least 10% in a C&P exam. The VA recognizes both physical and mental injuries or illnesses as disabilities. The aim of the VR&E program is to provide veterans who are contending with service-related disabilities with the education or training they need to be employable regardless of their injury.
Unfortunately, many veterans are unaware VR&E exists. With VR&E benefits, veterans are able to take advantage of services like:
- Career counseling
- Employment services
- Funding for higher education and vocational programs
- On-the-job training and apprenticeships
- Housing support
Although VR&E services are more career-focused than the standard G.I. benefits, veterans can still receive meaningful financial support to pursue a degree, license, or certification. VR&E benefits can potentially be combined with G.I. benefits, though you would likely need to accept a lower subsistence rate for your G.I. benefits. If you used G.I. benefits and obtained VR&E, the VA may adjust your VR& entitlement accordingly or refund the other program as appropriate.
Contact Our VA-Accredited Attorneys for Help With Your GI Bill Claim
Veterans are entitled to extensive education benefits under the G.I. Bill and even through the disability claims process, but accessing these payments can be a convoluted process. Our expert team has years of experience skillfully pursuing maximum benefits for veterans so that they can regain financial stability, achieve their education goals, and secure the support they need in everyday life.
Education and specialized training can be significant advantages for veterans entering the civilian job market, especially for those reckoning with service-related disabilities. We want to help you obtain the G.I. benefits you have earned. As veterans, we are proud to champion other deserving service members and help set them up for success.
If you have additional questions about what the VA claims process looks like, what benefits you can receive, how to appeal a denied claim, or how our legal services can aid in securing your benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out to our capable team at (866) 481-5347 or fill out our online contact form today. Our team of VA-accredited lawyers can help you determine what type of G.I. claim is right for your specific needs and goals.