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Tips for Getting Your GI Bill Benefits


Don’t be put off by the GI Bill application process. Below are four simple steps to help simplify your effort.

Step One

Make sure the school you want to attend is approved for Veteran’s Administration (VA) training or education, and apply. Most regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities are approved by the VA.

Step Two

Complete VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. This form is on the Veterans Online Application Website (VONAPP).

  • If you are Active Duty, your Education Service Officer or Command representative must complete and sign Section II of the VA Form 22-1990. Speak to a counselor in your Voluntary Education Services Office to determine if you are eligible for the GI Bill Buy-up program before you start using your GI Bill.
  • If you are a Veteran, you must include a copy of your DD 214 Discharge Paperwork.
  • If you are a member of the Selected Reserve, include a copy of DD Form 2384-1, Notice of Basic Eligibility. Your unit gave this to you when you became eligible for the MGIB-SR.

Step Three

  • If you’ve selected your school: The school sends your application and their paperwork to the appropriate VA regional office. This will expedite the process.
  • If you haven’t found a school yet: You can still apply for your VA Eligibility Determination. Mail your completed VA Form 22-1990 to your VA Regional Office. Visit http://www.va.gov/ to find the address. Within four to eight weeks, you should receive a declaration of eligibility and a letter explaining your VA benefits. It is not unusual to get a letter from the VA requesting more information. You will have to answer the VA’s requests to be determined eligible and complete the process.

Step Four

Once you have received your benefit payments, you must complete the VA’s Web Automated Verification of Eligibility (WAVE) each month. You must do this each month to continue to receive your benefit payments.

The WAVE requires you to either log-on to https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/default.cfm or call their toll-free number at 1-888-GIBILL-1. It only takes a couple of minutes, but you will not get your monthly payment until you do.

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