Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions
- What exactly do I have to do to receive my veterans educational benefits?
- Go to the VA website at www.va.gov
- Click on Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) and with your DD214 in hand, complete the application.
- AFTER ENROLLING, go to the Veterans Education link and fill out the Veterans Student Data Sheet.
- Then notify the certifying official at your institution.
- Do I need to contact anyone other than the verifying official?
Not unless you are using Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. Then you will need to contact your VA counselor.
- How much money will I receive for my benefits?
Each chapter is different but rates can be determined by visiting the VA website at www.va.gov.
- How long does it take to start receiving benefits?
During enrollment, VA certification and processing times average about four weeks but can take as long as eight weeks.
- Can I add or drop classes anytime?
As a student at GCCC, you have the right to add, drop, change, and withdraw from classes during the designated times. If you add or drop any classes, you must have a signature from your academic advisor, instructor, and notify the certifying official. This may result in the VA requesting that you give money back for a course that was paid for, but not completed.
- If I am receiving the POST 9/11 MGIB, do I have to pay tuition and books out of pocket?
Your tuition and fees are covered based on your percentage of eligibility and sent directly to the college. If you are 100% eligible according to your NOBE (Notice of Benefit Eligibility), then your tuition is completely covered. Anything less than 100%, you will have to pay the difference.
- When should I enroll for the semester to keep my benefits consistent?
Enrollment begins months before classes actually start for each term. Enroll at least four weeks early to ensure payment consistency.
- How will I know if my benefits change?
Laws are constantly changing and these changes do affect your benefits. To stay informed, visit the VA website periodically, check your mail for messages from the VA, and read emails from your certifying official at the educational institution.
- What is acceptable proof of military service?
If you are still serving on regular active duty, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which identifies you and your social security number, and provides your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.
If you were discharged from regular active duty after Jan. 1, 1950, a copy of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty should be included with your VA Form 26-1880. If you were discharged after October 1, 1979, DD Form 214 copy 4 should be included. A PHOTOCOPY OF DD214 WILL SUFFICE. DO NOT SUBMIT AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT.
If you are still serving on regular active duty, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which shows your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.
If you were discharged from the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, you must include copies of adequate documentation of at least six years of honorable service. If you were discharged from the Army or Air Force National Guard, you may submit NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, or NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, or its equivalent. If you were discharged from the Selected Reserve, you may submit a copy of your latest annual points statement and evidence of honorable service. Unfortunately, there is no single form used by the Reserves or National Guard similar to the DD Form 214. It is your responsibility to furnish adequate documentation of at least six years of honorable service.
If you are still serving in the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters showing the length of time that you have been a member of the Selected Reserves. Again, at least six years of honorable service must be documented.
- I am enrolled in school. When will I receive my benefits from VA?
Once your school submits your enrollment information, it must be entered into the system by VA. Because VA is generally overwhelmed with enrollments at the start of each semester, it could take up to six weeks to process an enrollment during those times. Your patience is appreciated. They will process all of the enrollments in order by the date received.
If you are receiving benefits under MGIB-AD (Chapter 30) or MGIB-SR (Chapter 1606), you must also verify your enrollment at the end of each month to receive payment for that month. Benefits are paid after each month of school is completed.
Call toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at 1-877-VA-ECERT (1-877-823-2378) to verify your attendance.
You will generally receive payment within two weeks of verifying your enrollment at the end of the month (or within one week if using Direct Deposit). If you don't receive payment in this timeframe, please contact VA using the Ask a Question tab, or by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).