Frequently Asked Questions

GI bill need to know

What VA educational programs are available?

  • Chapter 30 - Montgomery G.I. Bill – Active Duty (MGIB)
  • Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
  • Chapter 33 – Post 911 GI Bill
  • Chapter 35 - Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Chapter 1606 - Montgomery G.I. Bill – Selected Reserve
  • Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

How do I apply for VA Education Benefits?

Please visit http://www.gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/application/. This link will take you to the VONAPP (Veterans Online Application) where you will apply for the following benefits. Please note the forms vary depending on the benefit you are applying for.

Which Form do I use to apply for VA benefits?

  • For Veterans wanting to use Chapters 30, 32, 33, 24, 1606 or 1607 fill out the VA Form 22-1990
  • Survivors and Dependents Chapter 35, fill out the VA Form 22-5490
  • Transfer of Entitlement (Chapter 33 Post 9-11) for Dependents fill out VA Form 22-1990e
  • Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment fill out VA Form 28-1900
  • Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) fill out VA Form 22-1990R

My VA check is less than the amount I was told the monthly rate would be… Why did that happen?

The most common reason a check may be less than the monthly rate is that checks are prorated based on the number of days in the month for which you are enrolled.

For example: Your full time rate is $800.00; however your semester starts on August 19th and continues through December 14th. Payment for the month of August would include the 19th to the end of the month. (All months are based on 30 days, so months with more or less than 30 days would not affect the rate). Thus your payment for the month of August would be approximately $320.00. Payments for September, October, and November would be $800.00 each month and payment for December would be approximately $373.36 (prorated from the 1st to the 14th).

Here are other reasons your check might be short:

  • An overpayment was deducted from your payment
  • You reduced your training time after you received your award letter

If you have questions about your payment or concerns that you may have a debt with the VA, please contact the VSOC Coordinator: Micaela Black # 401-648-1597 or micaela.black@va.gov

Are VA Education Benefits Taxable?

No. Any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.

Per IRS Publication 970:

"Payments you receive for education, training, or subsistence under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are tax free. Do not include these payments as income on your federal tax return.

Example:

You have returned to college and are receiving two education benefits under the latest GI Bill:

a $1,534 monthly basic housing allowance (BAH) that is directly deposited to your checking account, and $3,840 paid directly to your college for tuition.

Neither of these benefits is taxable and you do not report them on your tax return. You also want to claim an American opportunity credit on your return. You paid $5,000 in qualified education expenses (Outside Linkexplained in detail in (explained in detail here in IRS publication 970, chapter 2). To figure the amount of credit, you must first subtract the $3,840 from your qualified education expenses because this payment under the GI Bill was required to be used for education expenses. You do not subtract any amount of the BAH because it was paid to you and its use was not restricted."

Helpful Links:

Current Rates of Payment for ALL chapters:
Outside Linkhttp://gibill.va.gov/resources/benefits_resources/rate_tables.html

Ch 33 calculator:
Outside Linkhttps://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm


Get paid faster: Important tips on certification, payment, and fees

What is the certification process to get paid?

You must establish entitlement to your VA education benefits first. RIC requires that you submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. You should bring the COE to the School Certifying Official (SCO) – Cindy Salzillo. Her office is located in the records Office, lower level of Building # 4 (East Campus). Remember, if the SCO does not know you are using VA education benefits, you will not be certified. Certification is completed electronically via the 1999 form. VA certifications are completed after the add / drop period each semester.

When will I receive my VA payment?

Your VA payment will not arrive prior to the start of classes. Please plan accordingly. For example, if you are using Post 911 GI Bill, you will not have your book stipend prior to classes beginning. Also VA monthly payments are paid in arrears. If the semester starts on September 6th, you will generally receive payment for that month in mid-September or by October 1st. The payment for the month of October will arrive on November 1st. VA payments are pro-rated so if the semester ends on May 15th, your June 1st check will only be for that 15 days of May. If you have specific questions about your VA payment or you concerned about payment delays, please contact the VSOC Coordinator: Micaela Black # 401-648-1597 or micaela.black@va.gov

How does the VA payment for Tuition & Fees work?

If you are using Ch 33, the VA will pay tuition and fees based on your % of entitlement. For example, if you are 60% entitled, VA will pay 60% of your T&F and you will be responsible for the remaining 40%.

If using Chapters 30, 1606, or 1607 – you are responsible for paying tuition up front.

If you are using VA Vocational Rehabilitation, your T&F will be paid in full. If there are any issues with payment, you should contact your Voc Rehab case manager directly.

How do I pay for my books?

Currently it is fully the responsibility of the student veterans to pay for books up front. The stipend comes after the start of the semester. If you receive Voc Rehab funds, your books will be paid in full to the book store.

How do I verify my attendance in WAVES:

If using Chapters 30, 1606, or 1607 you need to verify your attendance every month with the VA. This can be done by phone (877) 823-2378 or online: https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do. If you do not call to verify your attendance , your payment will not be released.

Please note: Individuals using Ch 33 (Post 911 GI Bill) and Ch 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation) do not have to verify attendance.


Get good grades...or else: Important Tips on course choices, grading, and academics

Can I take any courses I want or do I have to follow VA regulations when using VA education benefits?

The VA will only pay for courses that apply to a student’s degree program. Student Veterans are encouraged to meet with their Academic Advisor to select their classes. This will ensure that all your classes apply to your degree AND that you are meeting the requirements to move toward graduation.

The School Certifying Official cannot certify students for courses that are not part of their program. This means the tuition and fees will not be paid for that course (under Ch 33) AND the student’s monthly stipend will be reduced (under all VA Education benefits).

Contact the School Certifying Official immediately if there are any changes in your enrollment status, including adding courses, dropping courses, withdrawing or receiving incomplete grades to not incur personal charges

How do my grades impact my VA education benefits?

If you receive any kind of Withdrawal, you will owe money back to the VA for those courses. If you withdraw from a course – you must officially withdraw AND notify the School Certifying Official that you have withdrawn so that can be reported to the VA. The sooner you do this, the less the overpayment / debt with the VA will be.

If you receive an Incomplete – you must finish the coursework and receive a grade within one year or the VA will charge an overpayment. (Note: the school requires completion of Incompletes based on Instructor discretion).

Important: You must notify the SCO csalzillo@ric.edu of any grade changes, as soon as possible. If you do not report this information, your debt will be larger and more problematic.


Other helpful information: National Guard, resources

What if I am in the RI National Guard?

Members of the RIARNG and RIANG are eligible for the State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP). This will waive your tuition only. In order to obtain the STAP waiver, you must bring your schedule of courses to the ARNG or the ANG Education Liaison. They will sign the STAP Waiver and you will then bring to the Bursar’s office. * You can use the STAP waiver in conjunction with your GI Bill benefits.

If you have questions about this process, please contact the VSOC Coordinator: Micaela Black # 401-648-1597 or micaela.black@va.gov

Can I apply for financial aid?

Yes. If you are eligible for financial aid, you can use this in conjunction with your VA education benefits. It is recommended that you meet with someone to discuss the types of aid you are eligible for (i.e. Pell Grant vs. Student Loans). Financial aid can assist in offsetting any remaining T&F not covered if you are not 100% entitled to Ch 33 or it can assist in paying T&F up front if you are using other VA benefits. Additionally, if you are fully covered by GI Bill, certain types of aid can be paid back to the Veteran once the VA makes payment to the school.

Where can I find out more information about the Post 911 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program Benefits?

For additional information on VA Education Benefits for all chapters, logon to the following website: www.gibill.va.gov.

You may also contact our Outside LinkVetSuccess on Campus Counselor, Micaela Black, at (401) 648 1597 or micaela.black@va.gov

Helpful Links:

Learn more about all VA Benefits (compensation, home loans, etc): Outside Linkhttp://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets.asp

Page last updated: Jun. 6, 2013