New GI Bill Benefits

Dear Veterans:

Last year, I was honored to help enact a new GI Bill for the 21st century to ensure that our veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have access to higher education.  This bill will provide 1.7 million veterans with education benefits on par with those awarded to the veterans of WWII.  These benefits will help make this generation of veterans part of a new American economic recovery, just as our veterans were after World War II. 

Starting on May 1, 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  Below you will find information that will aid you in claiming your education benefits.  I also urge you to contact my office if my staff or I can ever be of assistance. 

Thank you for your service to our nation.

Your Congressman,
  
Dave Loebsack

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Veterans of the active duty and reserve components who have served at least 90 days of active duty service since September 11, 2001 and received an honorable discharge will qualify for the new benefits.  Veterans who served at least 30 days of post-9/11 active duty service and were medically discharged due to a service-connected disability also qualify for full benefits.  A veteran’s entitlement is based upon the duration of their cumulative (rather than consecutive) active duty service.

WHAT BENEFITS WILL I RECEIVE?
The Post 9/11 GI Bill will cover the cost of tuition and fees up to the amount of the most expensive in-state public undergraduate tuition; a monthly housing allowance; and a yearly books and supplies stipend. Benefits are provided on a sliding scale based on the cumulative number of days served on active duty.

DAYS OF SERVICE PERCENT OF TUITION AND BENEFITS COVERED
90 Cumulative Days 40% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)
6 Cumulative Months 50% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)
12 Cumulative Months 60% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)
18 Cumulative Months 70% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)
24 Cumulative Months 80% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)
30 Cumulative Months 90% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)
36 Cumulative Months 100% (Tuition, Books/Supplies and Living Stipend)

WHICH GI BILL IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Follow this link to find a comparison of Montgomery GI Bill benefits and Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/Benefit_Comparison_Chart.htm

I’M CURRENTLY USING MY MONTGOMERY GI BILL BENEFITS, CAN I TRANSFER INTO THE POST 9/11 GI BILL PROGRAM?
Yes.  However, there are a number of factors that you should consider before deciding to switch between programs.  Please consult the Department of Veterans Affairs website for additional information.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO USE MY GI BILL BENEFITS?
Veterans of both the active duty and reserve components have 15 years from their last period of active duty service to use their benefits. 

HOW DO I APPLY?
The VA began accepting application for the Post 9/11 GI Bill on May 1st.  Please follow this link to apply. http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-1990-ARE.pdf

WHO DO I CALL IF I NEED ASSISTANCE?
I encourage you to contact my office at 1.866.914.IOWA if I can be of assistance to you.  You can also contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with a Veterans Benefits Counselor. 

WHERE DO I GO FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?
The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up the following GI Bill website. http://www.gibill.va.gov/

The Department of Veterans Affairs has also set up a frequently asked questions page that will be updated frequently.

 WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE MY BENEFITS?
The Department of Veterans Affairs has released the following timeline for the Post 9/11 GI Bill:

May 1, 2009: VA begins processing applications for Certificates of Eligibility                    

  • VA mails Certificates of Eligibility to students showing their:
  • Months of entitlement
  • Tier of eligibility
  • Delimiting date

May-July 2009:  Veteran enrolls and provides Certificate of Eligibility to their school                         

July 6, 2009:  VA begins accepting enrollment information from schools             

  • School reports student enrollment to the VA

July 6, 2009:  VA begins processing claims                                                  

August 3, 2009:  VA pays first tuition and fees payments to schools                                  

August 3, 2009:  VA pays first books and supplies stipend to student and provides notice to student of:

  • Tuition and fee payment amount
  • Book stipend payment amount
  • Monthly housing payment amount
  • Information about the need to immediately notify the VA of any changes in enrollment
  • Information about students’ obligation to repay the VA for any overpayment resulting from changes in enrollment

September 1, 2009:  VA pays partial housing allowance for August attendance                

October 1, 2009:  VA pays first full monthly housing allowance