Learn About Military Benefits and Discounts You May Apply For
If you are a veteran or service member, you have access to helpful VA benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits may help you and your family buy a home, pay for college education and more.
Additionally, you may qualify for military discounts on necessities like auto insurance. Read on to learn more about options that can help you today!
If you are looking for job training certification or a college degree, VA education benefits have you covered. The GI Bill is one of the most popular programs among service members and veterans.
GI Bill Eligibility
Because there are different types of programs, specific GI Bill eligibility requirements vary.
- Montgomery GI Bill eligibility is extended to veterans who served on active duty for at least two years. This bill offers education benefits for up to 36 months.
- Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility is extended to veterans who served on active duty after September 1, 2001. This bill covers tuition and fees, and it may offer money for books, housing and other costs.
- VA Education Benefits for Dependents eligibility is extended to some qualifying spouses and children of veterans or service members who have died or experienced a disability.
Additionally, applicants must have an honorable discharge status to be eligible for any VA education benefits.
GI Bill Benefits
You can use the GI Bill at technical schools, college, universities and other higher education programs. There are also online schools that accept the GI Bill to cover your tuition and other costs. Fortunately, there are many institutions and colleges that accept the GI Bill, so you can find just the right place for you.
In addition to degree training, GI Bill benefits can be used for:
- On-the-job and apprenticeship training.
- Flight training.
- Licensing and certification.
- Correspondence courses.
- Tutorial assistance.
- National testing programs.
The way you get your benefits will depend on the program. Most VA education benefits payments are sent directly to the student, who then uses it to pay tuition and other costs. The one exception is the Post 9/11 GI Bill, in which:
- Tuition is paid directly to the school.
- You receive a monthly housing payment directly.
- You receive money for books and supplies directly at the beginning of a semester.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the most popular of the GI Bill programs. It is also considered the best option for most applicants. This bill is also known as the Chapter 33 GI Bill.
GI Bill Benefits for Dependents
GI Bill benefits for dependents’ education comes through two main programs: the Fry Scholarship and the Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) program.
The Fry Scholarship is available to children and spouses of service members who have died on active duty. The scholarship offers money for tuition, housing and school supplies for up to 36 months. It covers the full tuition for in-state public education programs and pays up to $22,805.34 per year for private or out-of-state education programs.
The DEA program is for children and spouses of service members who died or have become disabled due to a service-connected disability. If someone is eligible for both the DEA program and the Fry Scholarship, he or she must choose one or the other.
Transferring GI Bill benefits is also a way that dependents can get education benefits. A service member who is eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill can transfer any unused benefits to a spouse or child. Keep in mind that there are additional eligibility requirements that must be met for a GI Bill transfer.
How to Apply for GI Bill Benefits
If you think you may qualify for GI Bill benefits, you can apply for the GI Bill online at the VA website. There, you can also find out how to apply by mail or in person. Before applying, you should have the following documents and information ready:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your bank account information for direct deposit of benefits
- Your education history.
- Your military history.
- Information about the school or other educational program you wish to attend.
You should receive a decision from the VA no more than 30 days after you submit your application.
Before applying, make sure to use the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool. It allows you to compare benefits and eligibility requirements for different types of GI Bills easily.