Learn About Education Benefit Payment Rates
There are veterans education payment options for service members who wish to attend school or training program following service. Veterans education and training payment rates vary by a number of factors. To determine VA education payment rates, officials look at service members' duration of duty as well as other requirements based on the benefit program. Veterans education payment options include the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP), Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA) and a few GI Bills. Each of these programs has different VA education payment rates, which are contingent on the service member's length of active duty as well as other factors including the intended educational course. Applicants can find out about how the VA determines the compensation rate for each program before applying. To learn more about education benefit rates and how payments are made for VA education and training, read the topics below:
- Required length of service
- Duration of benefits and maximum duration
- How payments are made
- Degree vs non-degree training
Required Length of Service
VA education payment rates consider the veteran's length of service, as requirements vary according to which program an applicant decides to apply. The veterans education payment options for the GI Bill and REAP have a minimum length of 90 days of continuous service after September 11, 2001. Veterans education and training payment rates for the Montgomery GI Bills have the longest minimum length of service at two years of continuous enlistment for Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and a six-year commitment for Selected Reserves. However, the DEA program does not have any minimum length of service required for benefits.
Duration of Benefits and Maximum Duration
All veterans education and training payment rates are directly influenced by the duration of benefits. Duration of benefits for VA education payment rates refers to how long an applicant will have to claim benefits before they are unavailable. Each program will detail the VA education payment rate as well as how many months the plan is available. It is important to review the VA education and training benefits, since applicants may be eligible for many programs but can only elect one benefit. Most service members, with the exception of the Selected Reserves, will have between 10 to 15 years from the last day of active duty to claim benefits. Duration of benefits for veterans education payment options are:
- Post 9/11 GI Bill: 15 years from the last day of active duty
- MGIB-AD, REAP and VEAP: 10 years from the last day of active duty
- MGIB-SR: Ends the day a veteran leaves the Selected Reserve
- DEA: Range of 10 to 20 years from the last day of active duty
For the DEA veterans education payment option, if the veteran died in the line of duty, then the spouse has 10 years to claim the benefits. If the veteran did not die in the line of duty, then the spouse has 20 years to claim the benefits. Children of veterans can claim DEA VA education payment rates between 18 and 26 years of age. However, if the veteran cannot take advantage of the veterans education payment options due to a disability, the VA can extend the duration of benefits.
When referring to maximum duration of benefits, be aware that the veterans education payment option programs refer to school semesters. For example, 36 months equates to around eight semesters of schooling at a higher institution. If an applicant does not make use of these benefits before the duration is up, all benefits are lost. Every veterans education payment option, with the exception of the DEA program, has 36 months of benefits. The DEA program is the only one that offers 45 months of benefits to approved applicants. However, some updates offer exceptions for DEA applicants and allow them to combine Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance for 81 months of benefits. To find out if dependents can use multiple VA programs to pay for school, interested applicants will need to be eligible for both programs.
How Payments Are Made for VA Education and Training
VA education payment rates are contingent on the program selected. Of all of the veteran education payment options, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the only one that does not pay the full monetary amount directly to the student. How payments are made for VA education and training pertaining to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is conditional to the payment type such as tuition, housing assistance and educational supplies. The Post-9/11 GI Bill applies funding directly to the school to cover tuition. Payment for all fees for books and supplies as well as a monthly housing stipend goes directly to the student. The rest of the VA education payment rate options (MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, REAP, VEAP and DEA) will pay the full monetary value to students, allowing them to decide how much money to designate to each category of school expenses.
Degree Vs Non-Degree Training
The veterans education payment options also depend on the beneficiary pursuing a degree or non-degree training. Degree training has funding available from all forms of educational payment options and those VA education payment rates will vary depending on the degree and school an applicant chooses to enroll. The GI Bill educational payment option is the main program to offer non-degree training to veterans, while all of the educational assistance programs take care of degree training. This is why it is important to understand the differences between VA programs, as each program has regulations and restrictions. The VA education payment rates paid to the applicant depends on which GI Bill program the applicant enrolls into and the type of non-college-degree school the veterans plan on attending. After completing the training, the government issues payments monthly. The monthly entitlement is directly proportional to the number of clocked training hours an applicant attends for each week of the month.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays an applicant's net cost and VA education payment rates for in-state tuition and fees. Determining monthly housing allowance is dependent on the location of the school the applicant applied. The bill allocates up to $1,000 per year for books and supplies.