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Benefit Types Overview

Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill 

Active Duty Educational Assistance Program

The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) assists students who entered active duty for the first time after July 1, 1985, and who agreed to have their pay reduced by $100 for 12 months. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and active-duty personnel must have served at least two years to be eligible to use their benefits. Individuals are allowed 36 months of full-time entitlement.  Participants who have eligibility through the Vietnam Era GI Bill have 36 months of entitlement or the amount of entitlement they have remaining from Chapter 34, whichever is less. Benefits must be used within 10 years from the date the individual was last discharged from active duty.

Chapter 30- Montgomery GI Bill Tuition Assistance Top-up

Tuition Assistance Top-up is available to students on active duty and approved to use federal tuition assistance and eligible for Chapter 30, the Montgomery GI Bill.  On October 30, 2000 an amendment to the Montgomery GI Bill was signed into law which permits the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay a Tuition Assistance Top-up benefit. When the military cannot or does not cover 100% of the tuition and expenses, a service member, eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill can elect to receive his or her benefits for all or part of the remaining expenses.  The use of Tuition Assistance Top-up reduces future entitlement to the Montgomery GI Bill and service members should carefully consider their situations. For further information on Tuition Assistance Top-up, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.

Chapter 31 – Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Vocational Rehabilitation extends provides benefits to service members who have served on or after September 16, 1940 and have a service connected disability which is at least 20% disabling as defined by VA. Additionally it must be determined that vocational rehabilitation is needed to overcome an employment handicap. Eligible veterans may be allowed up to 48 months of full-time benefits. Veterans generally have 12 years from the date they are notified of their entitlement to the program. Students who meet the above mentioned criteria must contact the Baltimore Regional Office at 410-230-4550 to schedule an interview for evaluation.

Chapter 33- Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Chapter 33- Post 9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Benefits are generally payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. Payments are based on the amount of service you completed after September 10, 2001. You will receive a larger benefit if you served more active duty or mobilization time.

If you are eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may receive a(n):

  • Payment for tuition and fees sent directly to the college
  • Monthly housing allowance*
  • Annual book stipend of $1,000*
  • One-time rural benefit payment of $500

Maximum benefits are earned if you served an aggregate of 36 months or more on active duty service or after 30 days of continuous service if you were discharged for a service connected disability after September 10, 2001. If you served between 90 days and 36 months of aggregate active duty service, you will be eligible for a percentage of the maximum benefits.

*Note: The housing allowance and books and supplies stipend are not payable if you are on active duty, enrolled as a half-time student or less and enrolled in distance learning.

Choosing Your GI Bill Benefits

If you meet the eligibility requirements for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, as well as other GI Bills, such as the Montgomery GI Bill, you will be required to choose which benefit you wish to receive. For some individuals, your choice may be irrevocable. The Post-9/11 GI Bill may provide a better benefits package in terms of eligibility criteria, period of eligibility and financial value in comparison to existing educational benefit programs that remain in effect. However, the best program for you, if you are eligible for multiple educational benefit programs, will depend on your individual circumstance. Please review the eligibility requirements that apply for specific benefits and compare these benefits to those offered under other GI Bills for more information.

Chapter 35 – Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance

Survivors and Dependents Benefits provide educational benefits to spouses and children of veterans who either died while in service, died as a result of a service-connected disability, or became totally and permanently disabled as a result of their military service.  Survivors and dependents are allowed 45 months of full-time benefits. Spouses have 10 years from the date of the veteran's effective date of permanent and total disability rating or the veteran's death. Dependents' benefits end on their 26th birthday or eight years from the veteran's effective date of permanent or total disability rating or the veteran's death, but not after the dependent's 31st birthday. Please visit www.vba.va.gov/survivors/index.htm for additional survivor benefit information.  For additional information regarding eligibility, students should contact the U.S. Veterans Affairs Office at 1-800-827-1000.

Chapter 1606 – Montgomery GI Bill
Selective Reserve Educational Assistance

Chapter 1606 provides up to 36 months of benefits to members of the selective reserves. This includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard Reserves, Army National Guard and the Air Guard. A reservist is allowed 36 months of full-time benefits.

Chapter 1607 – Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607) is available to students who are members of the Selected Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve, and National Guard and were called to active service in response to a war or national emergency. The Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security determines eligibility but generally a member of a Reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 for at least 90 days is eligible.

VRAP- Veterans Retraining Assistance Program

The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

The program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program.  Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.