Step 6: Apply for Benefits

When you have decided which education benefit is best for you, you'll need to submit your application. You can either submit your application online or by mail, or, if you know what school you plan to attend, your school may be able to help you prepare and submit your application.

How will you submit your application?

I'm planning to submit my application online

You can use the VONAPP Veterans Online Applications website to fill out and submit your application online. You can use the information you gathered while using this tool to help complete your application.

You may be asked to provide some additional forms if you apply online. If you have access to a scanner, you can scan these forms and submit them online.

If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-GIBill1) to ask for help.

I'd like to submit a paper application

You can submit a paper application called on Form 22-1990 by mail to the VA Regional Processing Office. You can mail the form to the region of your home address, or, if you know what school you want to attend, the VA Regional Processing Office for the region of the school's physical address.

  1. It will make it easier for the VA to determine what benefits you qualify for if you send a copy of the following documents:
  2. Your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD form 214) for all periods of active duty service
  3. DD Form 2384, also known as the Notice of Basic Eligibility, if applying for the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves (chapter 1606)
  4. Copies of orders if activated from the guard/reserves
  5. Supporting documents (e.g., vouchers, statements) for buy-up or buy-in contributions, which may allow you to make a small initial payment so that you can receive a higher monthly payment.
  6. College fund "kicker" contracts for additional monthly payments that you may receive from the Department of Defense through your branch of the Service.

If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-GIBill1) to ask for help.

I'm still having trouble filling out my application

Many schools have staff members who will help you prepare and submit your application for education benefits (which is also sometimes called Form 22-1990 Form 22-1990). You may be able to work with this individual, referred to as the School Certifying Officer, to fill out your application. To make the process easier, you should bring along these documents:

  1. Your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD form 214) for all periods of active duty service
  2. DD Form 2384, also known as the Notice of Basic Eligibility, if applying for the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves (chapter 1606)
  3. Copies of orders if activated from the guard/reserves
  4. Supporting documents (e.g., vouchers, statements) for buy-up or buy-in contributions, which may allow you to make a small initial payment so that you can receive a higher monthly payment.
  5. College fund “kicker” contracts for additional monthly payments that you may receive from the Department of Defense through your branch of the Service.

After working with you on your application, the school will send the application, along with paperwork from the school itself, to a VA Regional Processing Office.

If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-GIBill1) to ask for help.

I've submitted my application

Once you have finished and sent in your application, three things will happen:

  1. The Regional Processing Office will process the application and determine your eligibility. If you are certain of your eligibility, do not delay in enrolling in classes.
  2. Your school will send its request to VA for tuition and fees, which will be paid directly to the school.
  3. Other benefits that you receive, like a monthly housing allowance, books & supplies stipend or rural benefit payment, will be paid directly to you through direct deposit to your bank account.

The amount of time it takes to process your application will depend on whether the VA needs more information to figure out what benefits you qualify for.

I have already received my Certificate of Eligibility

Congratulations on successfully completing the application process! You can enroll in classes at the school you have chosen at any time.

And thank you for your service! Go to class. Get good grades. Enjoy life.