Direct Deposit Now Available for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Recipients
March 2, 2012
If you receive DEA you can now sign up to have your benefits delivered via direct deposit.* To sign up for direct deposit you will need to know the type of account (checking or savings) you want your direct deposit sent to, your bank’s 9-digit routing number, and your account number.
Find the Routing Number on Your Check
If you don’t know your routing and/or account number, contact your bank for the information. Once you have your account type, routing number, and account number, you can sign up for direct deposit by:
Calling the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-GI-Bill-1 (1-888-442-4551)
Completing the direct deposit application located here (you should select “Education” under Type of Benefit) and mailing it to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
125 S. Main Street, Suite B
Muskogee OK 74401-7004
*Direct deposit is only available for beneficiaries with a U.S. mailing address.
View Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Entitlement and Enrollment Information in eBenefits!
December 14, 2011
On Sunday, December 11, 2011, an update to eBenefits was released that allows Post-9/11 GI Bill students to view their entitlement and enrollment information. eBenefits enrollees, who have a Premium account, can now view their VA education benefit enrollment information.
Once logged in, key information is displayed such as your Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility date, your delimiting (or end) date, the amount of entitlement used, and the amount of remaining entitlement. It will also display your enrollment history. This screen capture is an example of the information displayed, it's attached.
The eBenefits - Homepage is your primary starting point. Instructions to establish a Premium account are located here. Remember, eBenefits is a secure access point for information on all your VA benefits.
Information regarding Public Law 112-56,
VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011:
December 1, 2011
On November 21, 2011, President Obama signed Public Law 112-56, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program for unemployed Veterans. VA and the Department of Labor (DoL) are working together to roll out this new program on July 1, 2012.
A brief summary of this new law is outlined below:
The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers up 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans. To qualify, a Veteran must:
- Be between the age of 35 and 60
- Be unemployed (as determined by DoL) with special consideration given to Veterans who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks
- Have an other than dishonorable discharge
- Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
- Not be in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
- Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program
The program is limited to 99,000 participants who may receive up to 12 months of payments at the full-time Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty rate (currently $1,473 per month).
Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a Community College or Technical School. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certification, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.
Applications will be submitted through DoL and benefits paid by VA. DoL will provide employment assistance to every Veteran who participates, upon completion of their program
As you may be aware, President Obama signed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377) on January 4, 2011. These changes have a significant impact on how you may use your education benefits, including Montgomery GI Bill, Post-9/11 GI Bill, REAP, etc. Please review the updates carefully to see how they may affect you. Please make note of the date each of these changes come into effect. Some of the most significant changes in the law include the following:
- Monthly housing allowance benefits are prorated based upon rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 (effective August 1, 2001), for example:
- If you are enrolled in 9 credits when 12 credits is full time, your rate of pursuit is .75 and you will receive 80% of the applicable Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate
- If you are enrolled in 10 credits when 12 credits is full time, your rate of pursuit is .83 and you will also receive 80% of the applicable BAH rate
- Break or interval pay is NO LONGER PAYABLE under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency situation such as a natural disaster or strike. (effective August 1, 2011)
- Here’s and example: Your semester ends December 15th. Your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only. Your next semester begins January 10th. Your payment for January, received in February, will be for January 10th and the rest of January.
- Entitlement that previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment.
- Individuals utilizing benefits while on active duty will be subject to the same benefit level determinations as veterans, based upon the amount of aggregate active duty service accrued (effective March 5, 2011)
- Tuition and fee payments are simplified for those attending public schools, and a national yearly maximum is created for those enrolled in private or foreign schools (effective August 1, 2011)
- Individual state caps are removed; all net public in-state charges are covered
- Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually
- The Yellow Ribbon Program may be used for costs in excess of the cap
- Students can be reimbursed for more than one “licensing and certification” test, and can also be reimbursed for fees paid to take national exams used for admission to an institution of higher learning such as the SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, etc. (effective August 1, 2011)
- VA will pay Montgomery GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve kickers on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum basis at the beginning of the term (effective August 1, 2011)
- Expanding the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include Active Service performed by National Guard members under title 32 U.S.C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard; or under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency (VA will begin paying benefits on October 1, 2011; you may be paid retroactively for enrollments beginning on August 1, 2009)
- Allows individuals who are eligible for both Chapter 31-Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s monthly housing allowance instead of the Chapter 31 subsistence allowance (effective August 1, 2011)
- Students can use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for non-college degree programs such as on-the-job training, flight school programs (other than a private pilot license), apprenticeship training, correspondence courses, and other programs offered at non-degree schools (effective October 1, 2011)
- Monthly housing allowance benefits are payable to students (other than those on active duty) enrolled solely in distance learning, at one-half the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents (effective October 1, 2011)
- The books and supplies stipend can be paid to students attending school whole on active duty (effective October 1, 2011)
For a complete listing of all the changes to VA education programs, please visit www.gibill.va.gov