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If you are wanting to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits for your education, this is what you need to do:
Make Sure You Qualify
You want to make sure you do qualify for these GI Bill benefits. In order to do so, you need to have at least one of these things be true:
- Serve at least 90 days on active duty, either all at once or with breaks in service, on or after September 11, 2001.
- Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001 and were honorably discharged after any amount of service.
- Served for at least 30 continuous days, all at once, without a break in service, on or after September 11, 2001, and be honorably discharged with a service-connected disability.
Children and spouses can also use these benefits if the service member or veteran has been able to transfer their benefits to them.
The amount of your benefit will depend on how much active service you have had since September 10, 2001. The amount is based on a % of the maximum benefit. You can view the GI Bill Comparison Tool to see what benefits you can qualify for.
Gather Your Documents and Information
You will need to gather up all your documents and information that you will need. This includes, your social security number, your bank account direct deposit information, your education and military history, and basic information about the school or training facility you want to attend or are already attending.
Apply For Your Benefits
There are a few different options for actually applying for your benefits. You can do so online, in person at your nearest VA regional office, at your school, or through the mail. If you would like to apply through the mail, you should call 1-888-GI-Bill-1 to ask for an application to be sent to you. If you need extra help with your application, you can work with a accredited representative to help you fill out the paperwork.
Benefits take an average of 30 days to process and once you apply, you will not be able to make changes on your application.
After You Apply
After your benefits have been processed and approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or award letter in the mail. You will need to then bring that to the VA certifying official at your school.