Education Benefits

The VA pays monthly benefits to eligible veterans, dependents, reservists, and service members while they are in an approved training program such as college, on-the-job training, and various kinds of technical training.  Our major programs are:

  • Montgomery GI BillPersons who first entered active duty after June 30, 1985, and had money withdrawn from their military pay are generally eligible.  You can use these benefits in service or out of service.  Some Vietnam Era veterans and certain veterans separated under special programs are also eligible.  The Montgomery GI Bill also includes a program for Selected Reservists and National Guard members.
  • Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP)This program is for veterans who entered active duty for the first time after December 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985, and contributed to an education fund.
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Education AssistanceSome spouses and children are eligible for benefits.

What Are the Time Limits for Using Benefits?Generally, the following time limits apply.  These time limits can sometimes be extended.

  • Veterans have 10 years from the date they were last released from active duty to use their education benefits.
  • Reservists and National Guard Members have 10 years from their eligibility date, which is determined by the Department of Defense or the Department of Transportation.
  • Spouses have 10 years from the date VA determines them eligible.
  • Children are generally eligible from age 18 until age 26.

How Do You Find Out If You're Eligible?To find out if you are eligible for VA educational assistance, you must send VA an application.  If you are a service member, veteran, reservist, or National Guard member, use VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits.  If you are the child or spouse of a veteran, use VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance.

To get an application or for more information, visit our website at http://www.gibill.va.gov or call us at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).  See the map below to find out where to mail your completed application.

It is a good idea to send us this application now, even if you don't plan to start school soon.  That way you will be sure to have the VA information you need when planning for your education.

 

Which VA Office Handles Your Education Claim?

There are four regional education processing offices that handle claims for the entire country, which we have divided into regions.  The map below shows the states in each region.  Find the state where you'll be attending school or job training.  You should mail inquiries or claims for education benefits to the processing office for that region.

CENTRAL REGIONVA Regional Office
PO Box 66830
St. Louis, MO  63166-6830

e-mail:  [email protected]

 

EASTERN REGION:VA Regional Office
PO Box 4616
Buffalo, NY  14240-4616

e-mail: [email protected]

 

WESTERN REGION:VA Regional Office
PO Box 8888
Muskogee, OK  74402-8888

e-mail:  [email protected]

SOUTHERN REGION:VA Regional Office
PO Box 100022
Decatur, GA  30031-7022

e-mail:  [email protected]

 

For more information, visit our web site at http://www.gibill.va.gov  or call our toll-free number. 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551)