Steps to Apply for VA Education Benefits
In addition to following the steps necessary to enroll in classes at RCC, there are steps you must follow if you intend to apply for Veterans Educational Benefits.
- In order to receive VA Educational Benefits, you must be pursuing a degree or certificate program that has been approved by the VA. The Veterans Coordinator on the Redwood and Riverside campus can tell you if your program of interest is approved by the VA.
- To begin receiving educational benefits, veterans must complete an Application for Education Benefits, and provide the VA with a copy of their DD-214 as part of the online application process. Other documents may be required depending on their VA Chapter and as requested by the VA.
- After applying for Educational Benefits, please contact the RCC Veterans Coordinator and they will open a file for you and complete an Enrollment Certification form to activate your benefits.
Please note: The RCC Veterans Coordinator/Certifying Official does not determine your eligibility for benefits. Your eligibility is determined by the Veterans Affairs Office in Muskogee, Oklahoma when you apply online. This process takes up to 6-9 weeks to process, so please plan accordingly.
Apply online at VONAPP on the GI Bill website. The information listed below will help you to understand the options available to you before you start the electronic application process.
You many also mail a copy of your DD214, or NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility if you are National Guard) to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Regional Office
P.O. Box 8888, Muskogee
How to Obtain a Copy of Your DD-214
A Report of Separation is generally issued when a service member performs active duty or at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. Among other things, the Report of Separation contains information normally needed to verify military service regarding eligibility for educational benefits. If you need to obtain a copy of your DD-214, you may use the eVetRecs Request System on the National Archives Web Site.
Choose from these definitions to determine your chapter number:
Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty Educational Assistance Program Chapter 30
If you first entered active duty on/after July 1, 1985, and contributed $1200 to the VA Education Benefits-Active Duty Educational Assistance Program; or if you earned an honorable discharge at some time in your military career and your final discharge was no more than 10 years ago; or you are currently on active duty. (Please note: some service members originally entitled to chapter 32 benefits accepted the offer to convert to this category of benefits.)
The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 created the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) that helped many unemployed Veterans access educational programs. This program came at a crucial time when veteran unemployment was at 8.3%. VRAP was specifically designed to cover veterans who are not eligible to receive GI Bill educational benefits.
VRAP helped qualified veterans, who are age 35 to 60 years old obtain up to 12 months of education benefits equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill. Since the programâ€™s launch, it has come to support more than more than 76,000 unemployed veterans and helped our Nation honor the sacrifices they made to their country.
Under the current law, the Department of Veterans Affairsâ€™ (VA) authority to issue payments to VRAP participants ended March 31, 2014. We have received no further information about continuation of this program.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program Chapter 31
If you are making a claim for educational benefits under the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program based on the belief that you have a service-connected disability, follow the steps below to apply for VA Voc Rehab educational benefits.
After reviewing this information, follow the steps below to start the application:
- Select Apply On-Line.
- Select “Start VONAPP” after reviewing the VONAPP information.
- Follow the VON-APP instructions - If you have never used VONAPP before, you will need to sign up as a New User and select a user name and password in order to continue.
- You will select “Chapter 31” in order to complete this application.
Post-9/11(GI Bill) Chapter 33
If you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty (excluding entry level and skill training) after September 11, 2001. You may also qualify if you were discharged due to a service-connected disability after serving at least 30 continuous days on active duty after September 10, 2001.
If you are eligible for MGIB, MGIB-SR, OR REAP, you must elect to give up eligibility under the program for which you are eligible in order to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you are eligible for more than one of the programs listed (MGIB, MGIB-SR, and REAP), you must elect to give up one of the programs for which you are eligible in order to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you wish to elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, check the box next to the program (only check one box) you are giving up.
If a Veteran believes they are eligible to transfer their Chapter 33 benefits to a dependent:
- Learn more about transferability.
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program Chapter 35
- Died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service- connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces, or
- Died from any cause while such a service-connected disability was in existence, or
- Is missing in action or captured in line of duty by hostile forces, or
- Is forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government of power.
If you are the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran/serviceperson who:
Note: Students who are eligible under Chapter 35 must also mail a copy of pertinent information that ties them to the Veteran, (i.e., marriage license, birth certificate, etc.) to the regional office in Muskogee, OK in order to complete the application process.
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve Educational Program Chapter 1606
- If you are currently actively serving in a component of the selected reserve(Reserve or National Guard).
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve Educational Program Chapter 1607
A member of a reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10 U.S. Code for a contingency operation and who serves at least 90 consecutive days or more is eligible for chapter 1607. National Guard members also are eligible if their active duty is under section 502(f), title 32 U.S.C. and they serve for 90 consecutive days when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency and is supported by federal funds. Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach the 90-day point whether or not they are currently on active duty.
Disabled members who are injured or have an illness or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and are released from active duty before completing 90 consecutive days are also eligible.