You've earned the right to a higher education through your service in the U.S. Armed Forces. But how do you use your GI Bill benefits? Which version is right for you? The Legion can help answer questions about state and/or federal education benefits, who can use them, and how long.
VA announced Sept. 30 that student veterans will be able to apply online for emergency GI Bill payments. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said veterans can go to www.va.gov to fill out electronic applications for emergency funds, beginning Oct. 2.
VA’s 57 regional benefits offices will provide on-the-spot emergency payments – up to $3,000 – to student veterans who have applied for education benefits but have not yet received government payments. The online application will guide veterans through the process of providing information to VA for emergency payments. After applications are processed, student veterans will receive their payments via regular mail. The emergency checks are an advance on education benefits, and the amount will be deducted from future benefit payments.
Checks will be written at the regional offices for veterans with photo IDs and proof of enrollment. VA officials emphasize that $3,000 is the maximum payment; many veterans will receive smaller payments based upon their estimated monthly education benefits.
VA will also provide courtesy transportation to its regional offices. Students without their own transportation may also request free van service, provided by volunteers, to take them to the nearest benefits office. To obtain this service, veterans should call the nearest VA medical center and ask for the volunteer transportation coordinator. Courtesy rides are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Veterans can find a map and list of medical centers at the VA Web site. Updated information on the issuing of emergency checks will also be available at www.va.gov.