Veterans Benefits - Administration and Processing

Report
Captain Rene Coronado
United States Army Reserve
TAMUCC Veterans Certifying Officer
Thursday, October 11th, 2012: 9:00 AM – 10:15AM
Matagorda Room, 3rd floor
Omni Bayfront Hotel ( the White Bldg)
Table of Contents
 Veteran Status
 Veteran Waivers and Residency
 Federal Benefits
 GI Bill Programs
 Tuition Assistance
 State Benefits
 Hazlewood
 Helping Veteran Students Apply for Benefits
 Transition from Military to College Life
 Veterans Office & Veterans Certifying Official
Veteran Status
 Different types of Students claiming Veterans Status and using Veterans Benefits:
• Active Duty Service Members – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast
Guardsmen!
• Active Reserve Member – Army and Air National Guard, Army/Navy/AF/Marine
Reserve!
• Veterans – Former members of the active federal service and former members of the
active reserve!
• Veterans Dependents – Spouses and children (including adopted or step-children)
of Veterans who qualify for Veterans Benefits!
• Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR) – inactive members of the reserve services, no longer
actively serving who may qualify for benefits based on past service (but not on their
IRR service)
Veteran Status
 FAFSA, Independent Student and Veterans!
 Dependent vs. Independent under FAFSA
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Veteran of Active Federal Service
Provides proof in the form of DD Form 214 Discharge Form
Does NOT include members of the Active Reserve or National
Guard
• GI Bill is not based on Dependent vs Independent
• Benefit is based on service (Veterans service)
• Student must qualify as determined by the Dept. of VA
• Tuition Assistance is based on current service (Active or Reserve)
Veteran Waivers and Residency
 Residency Issues with Veterans and Dependents
 Active Duty Stationed in Texas
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Must be on Active Federal Service with Orders assigned to Texas
Provides proof of Military Status
Does NOT include members of the Active Reserve or National
Guard
• Residency Waivers for Veterans & Dependents Using the
GI Bill
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Must qualify for the GI Bill
Must submit a waiver request form (available on
www.CollegeforallTexans.com )
Must plan on making Texas their home of residency.
Final determination made by the residency determination official
at each school!
Chapter 33, Title 38
United States Code
Post 9/11 GI Bill Eligibility
An individual who served on active duty after 09/10/01
may be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill if the individual Served for an aggregate period of at least 90 days.
 Exception: An individual discharged due to a service-
connected disability after serving at least 30 continuous
days on active duty after 9/10/01, may also be eligible.
Generally, individuals will remain eligible for benefits for 15
years from:
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Date of last discharge: or
Release from active duty service of at least 90 continuous days.
If eligibility is based on aggregate service of less than 90 continuous
days, individuals will have 15 years from the last period of service used
to meet the minimum service requirements for eligibility.
•
Up to 100% of the cost of tuition and fees at the in-state rate at public
institutions (based on what the Veteran qualifies for) paid directly to
the school
•
Private or Foreign School Up to $18,077.50 per academic year
National Maximum (formerly $17,500 for 2011-12)
•
Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing
payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as
your school (paid to student)
•
Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1000 per year
•
A one-time payment of $500 paid to certain individuals relocating
from highly rural areas
What does the Post 9/11 GI Bill Cover?
Approved training under the Post 9/11 GI Bill includes
graduate and undergraduate degrees,
vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight
training, correspondence training, licensing, and
national testing programs, and tutorial assistance.
All training programs must be approved for GI Bill
benefits by the State Approving Agency – the Texas
Veterans Commission!
Recent Changes To The Post 9/11
GI Bill – Effective Fall 2012
 For veterans and their transferees-simplifies the tuition and fee rate for those
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attending a public school and creates a national maximum for those enrolled in
a private or foreign school.
For Active Duty Members and their transferees-creates a national rate for those
active duty members enrolled in a private or foreign school pursuing a degree
Allows VA to pay MGIB (chapter 30) and MGIB-SR (chapter 1606) “kickers”, or
college fund payments, on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum at the
beginning of the term
Prorates housing allowance by the student’s rate of pursuit (rounded to the
nearest tenth)
Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit
program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an
emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike.
Allows reimbursement for more than one “license or certification” test
Recent Changes Continued…..
 Allows those who are eligible for both Vocational Rehabilitation and
Employment (chapter 31) benefits and Post 9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) benefits to
choose the Post 9/11 GI Bill’s monthly housing allowance instead of the chapter
31 substance allowance
 NOAA and PHS personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to
eligible dependents
Effective October 1,2011
 Allows students to use Post 9/11 GI Bill for
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Non-college degree (NCD) programs
On-the-job and apprenticeship training
Flight programs
Correspondence training
 Housing allowance is now payable to students (other than those on active duty)
enrolled solely in distance learning. The housing allowance payable is equal to
½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents
 Allows students on active duty to receive a books and supplies stipend
Transfer of Entitlement
If a service member was a member of the Armed Forces on
August 1,2009, the Department of Defense (DoD) may offer them
the opportunity to transfer benefits to their spouse or dependent
children. Service members must transfer benefits before they
separate from the service. Service members should contact their
service branch for more information.
When visiting
http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/transfer_of_bene
fits.html website a link is available to take you to the DoD website
for more information.
Montgomery GI Bill – Chap 30
Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Voc Rehab) – Chap 31
Dependent Education Assistance (DEA) – Chap 35
Reserve GI Bill – Chap 1606
Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) – Chap 1607
Other GI Bill Programs
 Montgomery GI Bill – Chap 30: The ‘Old’ GI Bill which pays students a regular
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monthly stipend to attend college, university, or certain training; amount is based on
school attendance rate (full-time, ¾ time, half-time, ¼ time, etc). For service
members and veterans; not transferrable to dependents.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Voc Rehab) – Chap 31: For disabled
Veterans who have a rating of 20% or more, they can apply for the Voc Rehab
Program. This program provides assistance preparing Veterans for a career with
training or education benefits, similar to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. For disabled veterans
only!
Dependent Education Assistance (DEA) – Chap 35: This benefit allows the
dependents of 100% disabled or deceased Veterans (due to military reasons) an
education benefit to attend school. It provides a monthly stipend for up to 48
months. For dependents only!
Reserve GI Bill – Chap 1606: This benefits provides a monthly stipend for active
reserve members of the Reserve or National Guard. Service members must be in
good standing with their reserve unit to receive benefits. For Reserve and National
Guard service members only!
Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) – Chap 1607: Prior to the Post9/11 GI Bill, US Gov’t established the REAP Program for Reserve and National Guard
service members who were activated and deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. This
benefit pays a monthly stipend similar to the MGIB-AD, but at a reduced rate.
Department of Defense
Education Assistance Programs
Tuition Assistance (TA)
Program Overview
 The Armed Forces offers soldiers, sailors, marines, guardsman, and airmen
several programs to support their education goals including up to 100% Tuition
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Assistance for college courses taken during off-duty
Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of
the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each
service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members.
Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application
process' and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution
by the individual services.
Additionally active duty members may elect to use the MGIB "top-up" in
addition to their service provided TA to cover high cost courses.
TA is not a loan; it should be viewed as money you have earned just like your
base pay.
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Maximum amount of $4500 per academic year (different by service)
Must pass all classes and maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive benefit
Must currently be serving in the Active or Reserve Service to receive benefit; not for Veterans
Tuition and some fees paid directly to the school, not the student
All Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard must use: www.GoArmyEd.com website
For more information go to: http://www.military.com/education/money-for-school/tuitionassistance-ta-program-overview.html
State Benefits:
Hazlewood
Purpose
To encourage Texas Veterans and family
members to pursue higher education by
providing an exemption from payment of
tuition and most fees to eligible Texas
Veterans and their eligible dependent
children and spouses.
Hazlewood Act
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Provides exemptions from tuition, dues, most fees and other required
charges for up to150 credit hours.
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Applies to Public Institutions of Higher Education in Texas
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At
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time of entry into service, member must:
be a Resident of Texas, or
Entered the service in the State of Texas, or
Declared Texas as his or her home of record in the manner
provided by the military or other service at time of entry
Was honorably discharged from service (Honorable or General,
Under Honorable Conditions discharge)
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Served more than 180 days of active duty excluding training of
active federal service.
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Is not default on an education loan made or guaranteed by the State
of Texas
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Currently a resident and resides in the state of Texas (S.B. 639
effective 6/17/11)
Hazlewood Act (Cont.)
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Under some circumstances it is possible to receive the
Hazlewood Act benefit and federal VA education benefits
concurrently. If the student is receiving federal VA education
benefits under Chapter 30, 35, 1607 or 1607, or Chapter 33 at
less than the 100% rate, they may receive the Hazlewood
exemption and their federal education benefit concurrently.
Stacking
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A student may use both Chapter 33 (if less than the 100%
rate) and Hazlewood during the same term if the combination
of benefits does not exceed the total amount of tuition and
fees. A student who is eligible for federal education benefits
under Chapter 33 or 31 may NOT decline his/her federal
education benefit and still receive Hazlewood. If the veteran
is eligible for federal education benefits, they must use these
benefits as long as they are available.
Hazlewood for Dependents
Children and spouses(as of the Fall 2009 school term) of service
members who were killed or die in the line of duty are missing in
action, who die as a result of injury or illness directly related to
military service, or who became totally disabled for purposes of
employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness are
eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits provided
(1) the child must have been a dependent of the eligible service
member when the member died, sustained the disabling injury or
when the service member was declared to be 100% unemployable by
the VA. Beginning Fall 2011 an eligible child must be 25 years or
younger on the first day of the school term.
(2) the spouse or child must be able to provide official documentation
from the VA indicating that the service member has a 100%
unemployable rating, if applicable
(3) the spouse must provide proof that he/she was the legal spouse of
the eligible service member at the time the service member died,
sustained his/her disabling injury, or was classified as missing in
action.
Hazlewood Legacy
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Allows eligible veteran to assign unused hours to a
child;
The veteran must be a resident and reside in
Texas in order to transfer unused hours to the
child
Only one child at a time can use the exemption
Child must be:
 Member’s stepchild, biological child, adopted
child or claimed as dependent (previous or
current year);
 a resident of Texas
 Be 25 years or younger on the first day of the
semester ; and
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Meet satisfactory academic progress.
New Hazlewood Law: S.B. 639
 Allows children of deceased eligible
veterans to have unused Hazlewood
hours assigned to them by the
deceased veteran’s spouse or by the
conservator, guardian, custodian, or
other legally designated caretaker of
the child.
Fry Scholarship
Effective August 1, 2009
Provides education benefit eligibility for children of active
duty members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of
duty after September 10, 2001.
An information sheet about the Fry Scholarship is available
at:
http://www.gibill.va.gov/documents/factsheets/fry_scholars
hip.pdf
Eligible children:
• May be married or over 23 and still be eligible
• Are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100%
level
• Have 15 years to use the benefit beginning on their
18th birthday
• May use the benefit until their 33rd birthday
• Are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program
Helping Veteran Students
Apply for Benefits
How Do They Apply?
Students can go to the GI Bill Website and apply online!
Get help from your school’s VA Certifying Official!
http://www.gibill.va.gov/
GI Bill Hotline:
1-888-442-4551
Helping Veteran Students
Apply for Benefits
How Do They Apply?
Students should provide a certified copy of their DD Form 214
Member 2 or 4 Copy and a completed HE-V and HE-D form (and
all other requested documents) to their school’s Hazlewood
official before the end of the semester to use the benefit.
http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/financialaid/tofa2.cfm?I
D=579
Texas Veterans Commission
Hotline:
512/ 463-5538
Transition from Military to
College Life
How to help Veterans transition from combat to the classroom…
Service members and Veterans have a very hard time with the bureaucracy and
paperwork involved in getting started in college life. They get frustrated
quickly with half-answers to specific questions and being told to go somewhere
else for assistance. Veterans work well when given specific answers and
assistance and can do well when following steps or a checklist. We offer two
versions of our checklist at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi to help
guide our Veterans through the process. Have all the information on one list or
on one website helps:
Veterans Online Guide: http://vets.tamucc.edu/certification.php
Veterans Online Checklist: http://vets.tamucc.edu/PDF/Veterans_Checklist.pdf
TAMUCC Veterans Office
Office Phone:
361-825-2331
Veterans Office & Veterans
Certifying Official
All schools approved for receipt of the GI Bill have a VA Certifying Official designated by the school to
process and submit all certification for benefits under the GI Bill.
Some schools located close to a military installation or with large Veteran populations have a dedicated
Veterans Office to assistant service members, Veterans, and their dependents in applying for and
processing claims for VA Education Benefits. In some schools this office is also responsible for the
Hazlewood Program and the VA Certifying Official is also the Hazlewood determination official for
the school. Having one central location for these services helps the Veterans to complete all their
applications for various benefits and ask questions at ‘one-stop shop.’
A few school dedicated to providing extra services to Veterans have established Veterans Transitions
Centers, some using federal or private grants. These centers provide veterans extra help and a place to
access the internet, consult with fellow Veterans and counselors, and work with the schools Veterans
Office.
The Dept of Education also has a Federal Grant for schools to establish a Veterans Upward Bound
Program. Currently only one school has a Veterans Upward Bound Program: UT Brownville.
TAMUCC Veterans Office
Office Phone:
361-825-2331
Last minute notes
on Veterans:
 It’s recommended (but not required) to hire or have a Veteran as your
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VA Certifying Official or as part of the Veteran Office Staff
The Dept. of Veterans Affairs requires that Veterans be treated like all
other students
The burden of proof on qualifying for benefits is on the student
Not all Veterans have or use their benefits
Veterans may choose to not identify themselves as Veterans for various
reasons
Veterans with difficulty with classes, professors, or fellow students
should be directed to VA counseling services, campus counseling
services, or Veteran peer groups whenever possible; Disability services
can help!
Students who drop classes or withdraw must pay back money to VA; no
60% completion rule with VA
If you every have any questions you can contact the Texas Veterans
Commission for assistance
Questions?

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