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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. Further information may be obtained on the appropriate VA websites listed in the Important Links on the upper right hand corner of the HOME PAGE (http://discover.pbcgov.org/communityservices/humanservices/Veterans/Education.aspx) The major VA Education Programs are:
Montgomery GI Bill: Persons who first entered active duty after June 30, 1985, and had money withdrawn from their military pay are generally eligible.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.
Post 9/11 GI Bill: Persons who first entered active duty after September 11, 2001, completed their contract obligation with an honorable discharge, or those in Reserve or National Guard who were called up to active duty under Title X (Presidential Order), and honorably completed the time for which called/recalled to active duty.
Veterans: have 15 years from the date they were last released from Volunteer Contract active duty (if after 9/11/2001) to use their education benefits. (They had 10 years from discharge prior to 9/11/2001.)
Reservists and National Guard Members: have 10 years from their eligibility date, (15 years if Post 9/11), which is determined by the Department of Defense or the Department of Transportation. (http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/reap.html)
Survivors' and Dependents' Education Assistance: Some spouses and children are eligible for benefits as dependents and survivors of deceased Veterans.
Spouses: have 12 years from the date VA determines them eligible. (http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/dea.html)
Children: are generally eligible from age 18 until age 23 for post-secondary education benefits. (Current legislation is pending possibly extending this benefit for children.)
How Do You Find Out If You're Eligible?
To find out if you are eligible for VA educational assistance, you must visit the websites listed above for your category send VA an application online.
To get an application or for more information, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or call
It is a good idea to send 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, and obtain your certificate of eligibility.