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FAQs

Veteran Student Questions
Q. How do I apply for GI Bill Benefits?
A.  If you have never submitted an Education Claim to VA: Submit an Application for VA Education Benefits,  (VA Form 22-1990) (http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/How_to_Apply.htm) and submit any available documents such as your DD Form 214, copies of orders to active duty and anything else available as evidence of qualifying service.  

If you have previously filed a claim for Education benefits:
A new application form is not required. However, you should submit any available documents such as your Discharge from Military Service (DD Form 214), copies of orders to active duty and anything else available as evidence of qualifying service to help establish eligibility for this program. You should also submit a “Request For Change of Program or Place of Training” (VA form 22-1995), (http://www4.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=22-1995)

Q. Is it possible to quality for more than one benefit program?
A. Yes. You may be eligible for more than one VA education benefit program. However, you may only receive payments from one program at a time. You can receive a maximum of 48 months of benefits under any combination of VA education programs you qualify for. For example you may qualify for 36 months of Chapter 30 and then 12 more months of chapter 1606.
Q. How do I verify my monthly enrollment?
A. If you’re receiving the Active Duty or Reserve GI Bill or REAP (Chapters 30,1606, 1607) use the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave or call the Interactive Voice Response telephone line at 1-877-823-2378 to verify your attendance.
Q. What are the current payment rates for VA educational benefits?
A.  Current rates can be found at http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/rates.htm

Q. How do I get another DD214 if I lost mine? 
A.
For information on replacing a DD 214, please go to http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html.

Q. Are my education benefits taxable?
A. No. Any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
School Payment Related FAQs
 
FAQ 1: How can your school identify the student for whom the payment is?
 
Answer: Should your institution receive payments via ACH Direct Deposit; the payment will include an addenda record with the student’s identifying information.  Schools may request this addenda record from their Financial Institution.  Financial Institutions are required to provide this information upon request according to rules set by the National Automated Clearing House Association.  Please request that your Financial Institution provide this information in a readable format so that you will be able to match the payment with the student.
 
Should VA not have an active direct deposit payment address for your school, we will make payments to you by paper check.  A stub containing the student’s identifying information will be attached to each check. Additionally, VA will also mail your School Certifying Official a weekly report known as the Vet Rep Listing Report.  Payments made directly to the schools will be on a listing titled “Chapter 33 Tuition and Fees, and Yellow Ribbon Payments”.  If a school does not receive the weekly listing, or it is misplaced, the school may request a new copy be mailed to the School Certifying Official through their Education Liaison Representative.

FAQ 2: My school is unable to retrieve the addenda record information from our Financial Institution, what should we do?
 
Answer:  VA is paying schools for Chapter 33 Tuition and Fees and Yellow Ribbon payments using a CCD+ Payment Format.  This format includes an 80-character addenda record where the student identifying information is passed.  The National Automated Clearing House Association, (NACHA), General Operating Rules, article four states: “Upon the request of the Receiver, an RDFI (Receiving Depository Financial Institution) MUST provide to its receiver all Payment-Related Information contained within the Addenda Record transmitted with CCD, CIE, and CTX entries.  The RDFI MUST provide this information to its Receiver by the opening business day on the second banking day following the Settlement Date of the entry.”  Meaning, a bank must be able to provide any addenda data that is sent with a payment within two business days of receiving an ACH deposit.  Additionally, NACHA requires that all financial institutions must be able to identify these addenda records and react appropriately. 
 
VA recommends that those having difficulties retrieving the information passed in the addenda record to contact a representative from the ACH department at your Financial Institution, as a customer service representative may not have the information needed. 

FAQ 3: How can my school enroll in ACH Direct Deposit, or change its ACH Direct Deposit Information?

Answer:  Should your school wish to enroll in or change their ACH direct deposit information, you may do so by completing VA Form 22-8794a and submitting it to your Education Liaison Representative.  You may contact your Education Liaison Representative through your School Certifying Official.  Please ensure the form is completed in full with account and routing numbers used for ACH deposits, not a wire transfer, as this may cause the payment to be returned.  ACH Direct deposit information will not be accepted over the phone. 
 
Public Law 104-134, also known as “The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996″ requires all federal payments be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and there are no exceptions for Vendor payments.  Chapter 33 payments made to schools on behalf of students are considered vendor payments and therefore are required to be made via EFT.  If a school is currently receiving payment by paper check, that school is not in compliance with Public Law 104-134.  To correct this matter, a school may enroll in ACH direct deposit by following the instructions stated above.  If a school does not correct this problem, they may be contacted by the U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Management Service. 

FAQ 4: My school enrolled in direct deposit for Chapter 33 payments, why are we still receiving Paper Checks?
 
Answer: If your school enrolled in ACH direct deposit and is still receiving paper checks, it could be that VA did not receive your direct deposit information form, or the information provided on that form was incorrect.  ACH Direct Deposit information will not be accepted over the phone.  Should you wish to correct this matter, you may do so by completing VA Form 22-8794a and submitting it to your Education Liaison Representative.  Please ensure the form is completed in full with account and routing numbers used for ACH deposits, not a wire transfer, as this may cause the payment to be returned. 

FAQ 5: When is my school responsible for refunding VA?
 
Answer:  Schools are required to report, without delay, the enrollment, interruption, and termination of attendance for each person enrolled in an educational assistance program administered by VA.  In addition to reporting any changes in enrollment status, schools will be held responsible for refunding payments as appropriate.  The following list explains when a school will be responsible for refunding VA:
 
-The student never attended classes for which he/she was certified (regardless of the reason for non-attendance). 
-The student completely withdraws on or before the first day of the term.  (If a student reduces, the debt shall be assessed to the student.)
-The school received a payment for the wrong student.
-The school received a duplicate payment.
-The school submitted an amended enrollment certification and reported reduced tuition and fee charges, reduced Yellow Ribbon amount, or both. 
-The student died during the term, or before the start of the term.
-VA issued payment above the amount certified on the enrollment certification that was used to process the payment (VA data entry error). 

All other overpayments will remain the responsibility of the student. 

FAQ 6: How can my school refund VA?
 
Answer:  In those instances where the school is responsible to refund VA, schools may refund money to VA in one of three ways:
Schools may send a check to the agent cashier of the Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction. It is essential that you include the student’s name and VA file number when you make a payment to VA.  Please make check payments payable to “VA Agent Cashier” and send to the Regional Processing Office of Jurisdiction.  Those addresses are as follows:
 
Buffalo Regional Processing Office
130 S. Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14202

Atlanta Regional Processing Office
1700 Clairmont Rd
Decatur, GA 30033-4032

St. Louis Regional Processing Office
400 S. 18th St
St. Louis, MO 63103

Muskogee Regional Processing Office
125 S. Main St
Muskogee, OK 74401-7025

(2)     Should the school receive payment in the form of a paper check, the school may return the uncashed check to the following address:
 
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Financial Management Service
P.O. Box 51318
Philadelphia, PA 19115-6316
 
(3)     Should the school receive payment by ACH Electronic Funds Transfer, schools may refund VA electronically via Automated Clearing House.  To do so, schools should request their banks to return the full payment amount using an R31 ACH return code.  Each bank has its own time constraints for returning ACH payments.  Please speak with your bank’s representative to obtain specific instructions on this process. 
 
Should your school wish to refund only a partial amount of a payment, you must utilize option one, listed above.

FAQ 7: How may my school avoid liability?
 
Answer: Ensure that notifications of enrollment and changes in enrollment are certified to VA in a timely manner. VA administers Compliance Surveys to ensure that schools and their approved courses are in compliance with all applicable provisions of the law.  The purpose of these activities is to prevent deficiencies and to correct them when they are found.  Compliance surveys are also a means to identify school negligence or fraud.  Should a compliance survey result in a finding of potential school liability, it will be referred to a VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction, where the final determination of liability will be made. 
 
VA may hold a school liable for an overpayment to a claimant if the overpayment was made as a result of:
 
Willful or negligent failure of the school to report excessive absences from a course, discontinuance, or interruption of attendance; or Willful or negligent false certification. VA will actively pursue collection on all cases where payment is due from the school.

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