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The Consumer Financial Protection Board Helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and their Families

August 8, 2011 700 AM

Now available on the CFBP homepage - Information for servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

Read their latest Blog post – "Military Advocates On Duty". Military personnel, veterans, and family members can submit a credit card complaint and "Tell Us Your Story.” From paying for education to personal financial management; from your VA Benefits to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the CFPB has information to help servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

Visit them at www.consumerfinance.gov

Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 Signed Into Law

August 4, 2011 10:00 AM

On August 3, 2011, President Obama signed the “Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011” into law. This legislation amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill, modifying the rules governing the way VA pays for private colleges or universities that have tuition & fee charges greater than the $17,500 per academic year. Click here for more information.

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System is Down back up as of 15:24hrs, July 8, 2011

July 8, 2011 3:24 PM

UPDATE: The IVR system is now available. Full functionality has been restored. Verifications received today through the weekend via IVR will be processed on Monday.

July 1, 2011 12:00 PM

We are experiencing a problem with the hardware that supports IVR, the system that allows you to verify your attendance over the telephone. The IVR system is expected to be unavailable for up to four weeks. You may verify your attendance electronically on the GI Bill website by clicking on the “Verify Attendance” button in the middle of the page. That button will direct you to our Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system. You will have to register as a new user if you have never verified your enrollment through WAVE.

If you are receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill you do not have to verify your attendance through WAVE. Your School Certifying Official (SCO) is responsible for verifying your attendance with VA at the beginning of your term. You are responsible for ensuring that your SCO is aware of your enrollment, and any subsequent changes in your schedule.

If you have further questions, please submit them using "Submit a Question" at (www.gibill.va.gov)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill and debt - understanding why and how it works

June 20, 2011 3:00 PM

If you incur a debt as a result of overpayment of GI Bill benefits we have some Frequently Asked Questions to assist you. Click here for more information.

Questions & Answers Section of Website Unavailable

June 13, 2011 2:19 PM

The Questions & Answers section of our website will be unavailable until 6:00 AM EDT June 14 (10:00 AM GMT) for a software upgrade. You can contact us at 888-442-4551 during normal working hours for assistance.

New School Certifying Official Handbook Released Today

June 3, 2011 12:50 PM

We have written and published a School Certifying Official (SCO) Handbook for VA Certifying Officials and anyone at a school involved with certification of beneficiaries of VA education benefits.  This SCO Handbook is a collaboration of the four Regional Processing Offices and Education Service and is intended to be the official source of information for VA Certifying Officials.

Certification instructions in this handbook are based on the use of VA-ONCE and include general information about the program. VA-ONCE is a VA Internet based application for certifying students.  Detailed information about VA-ONCE and about accessing VA-ONCE is available at www.gibill.va.gov/school-certifying-officials.  We strongly encourage all schools to utilize the VA-ONCE program for electronic certification.

There are a number of additional resources that are also available on the School Certifying Officials webpage, including Online Training For New Certifying Officials. The web-based training course is strongly recommended for new VA Certifying Officials and is also useful as refresher training for existing VA Certifying Officials.

The SCO Handbook can be downloaded at http://gibill.va.gov/school-certifying-officials/sco-training-resources/handbook.html as a PDF file.

2011 - 2012 Participating Yellow Ribbon Programs

May 27, 2011 1:25 PM

The Yellow Ribbon Program enrollment season has ended. We’ve published a list of participating programs on our website here. The participating Yellow Ribbon programs in this list are the ones we've processed. We will continue to process and update this list.   We expect all approved agreements to be posted by June 3, 2011.

Pat Tillman Scholarship Initiative

May 24, 2011 1:15 PM

If you don't qualify for the GI Bill, are interested in reducing your out-of-pocket costs for school, or just know someone who can use the information, we now have scholarship information available on our website.

Included is information about the Pat Tillman Scholarship Foundation, which offers scholarships to servicemembers, veterans, and dependents as well as covering other needs such as housing and child-care expenses as well as a link to the Department of Education’s scholarship database.

We also have information for schools or scholarship providers who wish to be added to the scholarship listings provided by the Department of Education.

For more information click here.

How Will Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill Affect Flight Training?

May 16, 2011 10:30 AM

Effective October 1, 2011 Vocational Flight Training will be payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, for a summary of the changes click here.

Veterans Field Guide to Government Shutdown

April 8, 2011 2:55 PM

In the event of a federal shutdown, most VA services will still be available. However, it’s important that you know how the GI Bill will be impacted.

For the full list of what will be available and what will be suspended, click here for more information.

Vice President Biden’s Call To Boost College Graduation Rates

March 28, 2011 11:05 AM

On March 22, 2011 Vice President Biden issued a call to action to boost college graduation rates across the country. The Vice President released a new College Completion Tool Kit for states and Governors to draw ideas and options from.

Click here for more information.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a School

March 21, 2011 12:35 PM

We have put together a helpful guide that contains many factors that may assist you when choosing a school.

Click here to access the guide.

Choosing A School Section of website unavailable this Sunday

March 3, 2011 12:35 PM

The “Choosing A School” application will be unavailable this Sunday, March 6, 2011 from 5 - 9 pm for scheduled maintenance

Post-9/11 GI Bill Change for some servicemembers and their transferee spouses

March 3, 2011 12:35 PM

All active duty servicemembers and their designated transferee spouse’s tuition payments will reflect the eligibility tier based on length of service for enrollments beginning on or after March 5, 2011.

2011 Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements Now Being Accepted

February 24, 2011 01:30 PM

We are currently accepting Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements for the 2011 academic year. The form as well as instructions and related materials can be found by clicking here.

Information Related to Delayed Processing of Spring 2011 Enrollments

February 8, 2011 03:00 PM

We would like to make you aware that VA’s offices responsible for processing Education benefits payments have been closed several days during January due to inclement weather. We are working hard to get caught up including working mandatory overtime on Saturdays and Sundays. We expect to have the situation under control within the next week to ten days. We are very concerned about the difficulties this can cause if you have not yet received your February 1 check and we are working hard to get you paid.

Until your February 1 payment is received, we have created a letter you may wish to show creditors. That letter may be found below.

View the letter here.

Severe Winter Weather Causes Claims Processing Delays

February 8, 2011 02:35 PM

Severe winter weather across much of the nation has caused unexpected delays in processing payments for Spring 2011 enrollments. We are implementing many stopgap procedures to bring the workload down, including temporary staff reassignments, mandatory overtime, and tiger teams. Rest assured we are doing our best to get your benefits to you as soon as possible.

Yellow Ribbon Program Agreement Information for 2011

January 24, 2011 08:00 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs will start accepting Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements for the 2011 - 2012 academic year on or about February 23, 2011. The agreement and detailed instructions will be available on our website on that date. Program enrollment season will last until May 23, 2011. Click here for more information.

2011 BAH Rate Increase Payments Coming

January 20, 2011 10:00 AM

Effective January 1, 2011, DoD adjusted most housing rates. VA’s housing payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the E-5 with dependents level for the zip code where you attend school. The DoD rates changed in January, so if your housing rate went up, you will see it in your February payment. Your payments will update to the 2011 rates automatically.

If your housing rate decreased for 2011, you will continue to receive the higher 2010 rate unless you change schools or have more than a 6-month break in school attendance.

You can see the new rates at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm

Major Changes Coming to the GI Bill in 2011

January 5, 2011 06:52 AM

Major changes are coming to all GI Bill programs next year, especially the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Click here for more information.

Reporting Requirements for Spring 2011 Semester

December 7, 2010 10:10 AM

School Certifying Officials are encouraged to submit enrollment certifications for the Spring 2011 semester as early as possible even if the tuition and fee rate is not set.
Click here for more information.

National Call Center Unavailable

November 30, 2010 01:54 PM

If you’re trying to reach the Muskogee, OK education call center today, it is currently down and no calls are getting through. The outage is due to an equipment malfunction. Technicians are now onsite replacing the faulty equipment. Estimated time of completion is COB today, November 30, 2010.

Find a School Section of Website Unavailable Saturday November 20

November 18, 2010 09:50 AM

The “Find a School” section of our website will be unavailable Saturday November 20 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM for a software upgrade.

Information on Preparatory Courses Online

October 29, 2010 09:00 AM

Information now online about preparatory courses and how you may be eligible for benefits while taking them. Click here for more information.

Student Veterans of America 2010 National Conference Approaching

September 14, 2010 01:25 PM

The 2010 Student Veterans of America National Conference will be held October 1 - 4 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. For more information click here.

Website Unavailability This Weekend

October 5, 2010 01:25 PM

The telephone certification system and some portions of the GI Bill website may be unavailable Saturday October 9 @ 6:00 PM EST through Monday October 11 @ 1:00 PM EST for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Student Veterans of America 2010 National Conference Approaching

September 14, 2010 01:25 PM

The 2010 Student Veterans of America National Conference will be held October 1 - 4 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. For more information click here.

VA has begun updating housing payments with the 2010 BAH rates for Post-9/11 GI Bill students

September 01, 2010 02:15 PM

Effective January 1, 2010, DoD adjusted most housing rates. VA’s housing payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the DoD basic allowance for housing at the E-5 with dependents level for the zip code where you attend school. Our new education claims processing system will begin phasing in the new rates September 1, 2010. You can see the new rates at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/bah.html

When will VA start paying the 2010 rates?

We will begin issuing checks at the 2010 rate on September 1st. We expect all files to be updated by the October housing payment.

Do I have to submit a form or do anything to get the new housing rate?

Your payments will update to the 2010 rates automatically, you do not need to do anything.

My housing rate increased in 2010. Do I get back-pay?

We will send you a one-time payment for the additional amount you are owed for your school attendance in 2010. The payment will cover any increase due you for housing allowance during the period January 1, 2010 through July 31, 2010 and will be direct-deposited to your account during the first week of September. The housing allowance for August, that is payable on September 1, will be at the 2010 rate.

I’m in school now and am expecting an increase. How does that work?

If you are currently in school or plan to re-enroll this year, your monthly housing allowance for August 2010 (paid on September 1st) will be at the 2010 rate.

I started school for the first time under the Post-9/11 GI Bill after January 1, 2010 and the housing rate for my area decreased for 2010. What happens to my payments?

You were receiving the 2009 rate. Your payment on September 1st (for the housing allowance for the month of August 2010) will be paid based on the 2010 housing rate. You will not continue to be paid at the higher 2009 rate. However, any housing payments previously paid to you at the 2009 rate will not be reduced and there will not be an overpayment on your record.

I started school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2009 and the housing rate decreased for 2010. How does that work?

You will continue to receive the higher 2009 rate during 2010 unless you change schools or have more than a 6-month break in school attendance. However, in the transition to our new computer system, some housing payments were inadvertently reduced to the lower 2010 rate. VA is taking immediate action to pay you the higher 2009 rate.

  • Your award is being adjusted to return your monthly housing allowance rate to the higher 2009 rate. You will receive a payment for the difference between the 2010 and 2009 rate for your September 1, 2010, payment.
  • For future payments, your monthly housing allowance will remain at the higher 2009 rate. You will continue to receive this rate unless you change schools or have more than a six-month break in attendance.

My housing rate is the same, is there a change to my VA housing?

Your VA housing payment will not change.

If you have other questions, be sure to check www.GIBILL.va.gov and use the “Ask a Question feature, or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

2010 - 2011 Maximum Tuition and Fee Rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are Available

August 31, 2010 02:00 PM

The maximum in-state tuition and fee rates are now available for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You can find the rates at the following link: http://www.gibill.va.gov/gi_bill_info/ch33/tuition_and_fees.htm

These rates are effective for training pursued on or after August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011.

Introducing My Story

August 23, 2010 08:22 AM

As part of our National Outreach and Awareness Campaign, Education Service is now featuring its new series, My Story, on the GI Bill Website at: www.gibill.va.gov/my-story. Through this page we are sharing the real life stories of Veterans and Servicemembers, and their personal experiences with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Every My Story is different. Yet they all share a common thread — creating a better future using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

We invite you to read and watch the videos about these inspiring students. If you have a personal success story that you want to share on our My Story page please email us at post911.gibill.vbaco@va.gov. Make sure to include your full name, email address, and a few sentences about why you think you’d make a good candidate and why you would like to participate.

Also, be on the lookout for the My Story print ads in your favorite military publications and look for more videos on the website in the future.

2011 Rate Tables Now Online

August 19, 2010 12:22 PM

2011 Rate Tables for Montgomery GI Bill, REAP, and DEA are now online. Rate increases are effective October 1, 2010. Click here to view the new rates.

Trying to Remember our Phone Number?

July 20, 2010 8:30 AM

We’ve noticed a few schools and webpages with an incorrect phone number for questions about the GI Bill. We want to remind you that the correct toll free number for the GI Bill Hotline is 1-888-GIBILL-1, not 1-800-GIBill-1. That phone number again is 1-888-GIBILL-1.

Yellow Ribbon Program Submission Deadline Extended

July 9, 2010 6:15 PM

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Yellow Ribbon Program,  VA has decided to extend the deadline for Yellow Ribbon Program agreements for the 2010 - 2011 academic year.  The original deadline was May 21, 2010,  but VA has extended it to July 23, 2010.   Schools who otherwise sent their agreement late or missed the deadline now have an opportunity to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program.  

All fields must be properly filled out and the form must be signed by an official that has the authority  to enter into agreements for the school.  Please send questions or concerns to the Yellow Ribbon Program Management Team at yellow.ribbon@va.gov.   Completed forms must be received by VA no later than July 23, 1010. 

You can learn more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program and find the agreement form by clicking here.

Mississippi and Alabama Claims Are Now Serviced by the Muskogee Office

June 21, 2010 5:25 PM

Effective immediately, the Muskogee Regional Processing Office will now process claims for Mississippi and Alabama. The address for the Muskogee office is P.O. Box 8888, Muskogee, OK, 74402-8888.

VA Begins Accepting Applications for the fry scholarship May 1

April 30, 2010 2:25 PM

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry, 28, of Lorena, Texas, only had a week left in his Iraq tour in 2006 when he injured his hand. He was given the option of leaving Iraq after the injury and going home with a Bronze Star. He declined and volunteered to go on one last run to defuse bombs. After working seven more hours, Gunnery Sgt. Fry was killed March 8, 2006, by an improvised explosive device in Anbar province, Iraq. He left behind his widow and three small children.

Public Law 111-32, The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill to expand the benefit to children of fallen U.S. soldiers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. 

On May 1, 2010, VA will begin accepting applications for the Fry Scholarship. Please see the Fry Scholarship fact sheet here

 

2010 - 2011 Yellow Ribbon Program Information Now Online

April 19, 2010 10:30 AM

Initial Yellow Ribbon Information is now posted for the 2010 - 2011 school year. The list is not final and will be updated periodically as additional information is received. The final listing of schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program will be posted approximately June 7, 2010. Click here to view the list.

Advance Pay Recoupment Issues

April 3, 2010 9:05 AM

Many of you have commented on the fact that your Advance Payment recoupment was more than the amount you asked VA’s Debt Management Center (DMC) to withhold from your April benefit. We hear you loud and clear and we're looking into some glitches in the system that snagged a number of people accidentally. We should have the issue solved within a few days.

Everyone is going to get all the money to which they are entitled. We understand that a number of student Veterans did not receive their March education benefit as expected on April 1 because of an error in the process of recovering funds for the Fall 2009 advance payments. For some student Veterans, the full amount of the benefit was deducted to recover the advance payment when a lesser amount should have been deducted. VA’s actions to refund this error are underway.

Letters will be sent within the next 48 hours to everyone affected by the issue either by email or through the United States Postal Service. We apologize for the inconvenience this inadvertently caused Veterans and their families. We ask for your patience as we resolve this important issue. We will update with any changes to our progress of correcting the error. You do not need to take any action; VA is working with the U.S Department of the Treasury to refund the over-collections. Payments will be issued to student Veterans within a week.

Advance Pay Recoupment

March 19, 2010 10:15 PM

If you wish to set up a payment plan for the deduction of an advance payment of benefits you received for the Fall 2009 semester you must submit a request form. Please note that requests for payment plans or credit card payments must be received prior to 10 working days of month's end to prevent deduction of the advance payment the following month. ALL REQUESTS FOR REDUCTIONS IN OFFSET ARE SUBJECT TO REVIEW AND APPROVAL BY DEBT MANAGEMENT CENTER.

Download the request form.

Break pay Frequently Asked Questions updated

March 19, 2010 10:45 AM

We have updated the Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to break (or interval) pay. Click here to see them.

Extended hours at the Education Call Center

March 10, 2010 1:45 PM

The Education Call Center is now open from 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM central time.

Call Center Information on Advance Pay Repayment

March 4, 2010 10:52 AM

VA’s Debt Management Center (DMC) recently sent out letters advising veterans of their options for repaying the Advance Payment of education benefits they received for this past Fall term. If you are having trouble reaching DMC over the phone in regards to Advance Payment recoupment, you can also contact VA’s Education Call Center (ECC) toll-free at 1-888-442-4551 or visit http://www.pay.va.gov for instructions on how to submit payments. You may also go to our “Ask a Question” page to submit a question online.

Ask A Question portion of our website unavailabilty

February 26, 2010 1:20 PM

The Ask A Question portion of our website will be unavailable from 8:00 PM, Saturday February 27 to 12:00 PM, Sunday February 28 for a software upgrade.

Education Call Center Now Open Monday Through Friday

February 19, 2010 10:00 AM

Effective immediately, VA's Education Call Center is now open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 5:00pm Central Time. Please contact us at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) with any inquiries.

Information About Advance Pay Availability

February 17, 2010 10:55 AM

Effective February 19, 2010, emergency advance payment checks will no longer be available. Individuals who received advance pay for the fall semester will receive notification letters explaining the repayment process.

Information About Advance Pay Recovery Procedures

February 11, 2010 10:00 AM

We have posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the recovery procedure of the Emergency Advance Payment for Fall 2009 GI Bill benefits some personnel may have received. For more information click the headline above.