What are the different “Chapters” of benefits under the GI Bill?
(Important Note! – This is by no means a complete detailing of GI Bill benefits. Please DO NOT pre-determine your eligibility because of something you read here or elsewhere. If you think you are eligible, apply for benefits. Let the VA determine your eligibility.)
Chapter 30-Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 30 benefits affect veterans with active duty service in any branch of the armed services of the United States. There are two different levels of benefits under Chapter 30. One level is for veterans who began active duty after 06/30/1985. This is by far the largest group of veterans.
The second level is for veterans who were eligible to receive benefits under the old Chapter 34 (Veteran’s Education Assistance Program, or VEAP) on 12/31/1989.
The scale below is ONLY for the first level of veterans: those who began active duty service after 06/30/1985.
* 1/2 time or less: pays the amount of tuition and fees, not to exceed the amounts listed.
The table above does not include amounts of additional money that veterans who participated in the $600 “Buy-up” program may be eligible for. If you did pay in extra money above the initial $1200, your check may be increased based on the extra money you paid in. It can add up to $150 per month to your overal GI Bill check. This benefit is only payable under the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), and Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP, Chapter 1607.)
There are also active-duty kickers (Army, Navy or Marine Corps College Funds) that would have been part of an enlistment or re-enlistment contract that can add up to $950 per month to your GI Bill check. These are payable under either the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) or the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33.)
Chapter 31-Vocational Rehabilitation
A veteran may be eligible for Chapter 31 benefits if they:
-Received, or will receive, a discharge under other than dishonorable conditions;
-Incurred or aggravated a service-connected disability which entitles him or her to VA disability compensation; and
-Is in need of vocational rehabilitation because his or her disability creates an employment handicap.
Benefits under Ch. 31 can be provided for up to 48 months, and the veteran generally has 12 years from the time they are notified of entitlement to VA compensation to use their benefits. Each veteran will be evaluated by a case worker for interests, aptitudes, education, work experience, and vocational abilities. Benefits are paid directly to the school for tuition, fees and books and the veteran will receive a living stipend.
Ch. 35-Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)
This benefit is for dependents or spouses of veterans. You may be eligible if you meet the requirements below:
-You are a child (between the ages of 18 and 26, with some exceptions) of a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition; or who died in service; or who died of a service-connected disability; or who died while being evaluated as having total and permanent service -connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA.
-You are the surviving spouse of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability, or died in service, or died while evaluated as having total and permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability.
-You are the spouse of a veteran or service person who has a total and permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability; or who is listed as a POW or MIA.
* Less than half-time will be given amount of tuition and fees only. Payment cannot exceed the listed amount.
Chapter 1606-Selected Reserve Chapter 1606 is the educational benefit program for active members of the Selected Reserve. Selected Reserve components include the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard. The Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security determine who is eligible for Chapter 1606.
You may be eligible if you:
- Are a member of a Selective Service unit with a 6-year obligation to serve
- Have satisfactory participation in required Selective Reserve training
Chapter 1606 “Kickers” Like Chapter 30, Chapter 1606 recipients can recieve kickers as part of their enlistment contract. The amounts of the kickers available are $100, $200, and $350. You have to sign a kicker contract when you enlist in order to receive a kicker. An example of what a kicker can do: If you have a $350 kicker and you are a full-time student (which pays $375.00 per month as of 10/01/2017), then your monthly benefit will be $725.00 for each full month you are enrolled as a full-time student. Chapter 1607-Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)Chapter 1607 is for members of the Selected Reserve who have been called to active duty for at least 90 days since 09/11/2001. The Department of Defense determines eligibility for Chapter 1607 benefits based on the Selected Reserve member being called to active duty in a contingency operation declared by the President or Congress.
Chapter 1607 pays a percentage of the Chapter 30 rate for veterans with 3 or more years of service. For example, if you have at least 90 days but less than one year of active duty service, you receive 40% of the Chapter 30 rate, At least one year but less than two years pays 60%, and two or more years pays 80%.
You may be eligible for Chapter 1607 benefits if you: -Served on active duty in support of a contingency operation for 90 consecutive days or more; -Have served at least 90 consecutive days of full-time National Guard duty for the purpose of responding to a national emergency which is supported by federal funds.
Chapter 1607 benefits are being phased out by the VA. In most cases, if a person was using Chapter 1607 benefits on November 24, 2015, they will be allowed to exhaust those benefits before November 25, 2019.
* – Below half-time pays Tuition and Fees only. Amount paid cannot be above amount listed. Chapter 1607 recipients are also still eligible for “Kickers” that they signed up for when they joined the National Guard. Chapter 33-Post-9/11 GI Bill
The Post-9/11 GI Bill was designed by Congress to help veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan pay for college. It is the most sweeping change in GI Bill benefits in a half-century. While some details are still changing, here are the basics:3 different types of payments made to veterans (or on their behalf to their school)-Payment to schools for a portion of tuition and fees-Payment to the veteran for a living stipend (based on BAH for an E-5 with dependents in the school’s zip code)-Payment to the veteran for a book and supply allowance (up to $1000 per school year)How much of your tuition fees and the amount of your living and book allowances are determined by the length of your active duty service since 9/10/2001:
So, you will receive a PORTION of the 100% benefit based on your length of active duty service.Important Note: Once you choose to get benefits under Chapter 33, you will not be able to choose a different chapter. It is an irrevocable decision.
Your Post-9/11 benefits can also be transferred to a spouse or dependent child, but you must usually make this transfer BEFORE you leave active-duty service. Other limits apply on transfer-ability, including how long you have to have been on active duty before you can transfer the benefits.