Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Understanding The New Veterans Educational Assistance Act

(NAPSI)-For individuals who served on active military duty on or after September 11, 2001, a new piece of legislation can help further education goals-or perhaps create new ones.

The Post−9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, also known as the Post−9/11 GI Bill, provides veterans with financial benefits for any approved program offered by a school that is authorized to grant an associate (or higher) degree.

These questions may help shed light on the subject for people who have recently served or are currently serving in the military, as well as their families:

Q. Am I eligible?

A. You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001.

You may also be eligible if you were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001.

Q. When can I receive benefits under the Bill?

A. Post−9/11 GI Bill benefits are payable for training that begins on or after August 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date.

Q. How much will I receive?

A. Based on your length of active-duty service, you may be entitled to a percentage of the following:

4 Cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive instate undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education;

4 Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents. The amount of the housing allowance is based on the ZIP code of the school and is not payable to individuals training at half-time or less or attending distance learning;

4 Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year (paid to you); and

4 A one-time payment of $500 paid to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas.

Q. How many months of assistance can I receive?

A. Generally, you may receive up to 36 months of benefits under the Post−9/11 GI Bill.

Q. How long am I eligible?

A. You will be eligible for benefits for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.

Q. Can I transfer my entitlement to my dependents?

A. If you are a member of the Armed Forces on August 1, 2009, the Department of Defense (DoD) may offer you the opportunity to transfer benefits to your spouse or dependent children. DoD and the military services will issue policy on entitlement to transferability benefit in the coming months.

For up-to-date information on this and other education benefits, visit www.gibill.va.gov.

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