Archives for November 2013

Gulf Coast Veteran is Thankful for VA



a man takes a close up picture of some leaves

In the past five years, Veteran Brian Fleming has taken over 5,000 images. (Photo by VA Biloxi Medical Media Services)










Thanksgiving Day means many things to many people. Veteran Brian Fleming is thankful for the health care he has received at his VA medical center. He feels safe there.

Army Veteran Brian Fleming knows what it’s like to be stuck at home, days on end, with nothing to do but watch television and stare at a computer screen or sleep. For several years after he was medically discharged from the Army as a result of a rappelling accident, the only thing Brian did for himself was to go to the Biloxi VA Medical Center every week for his therapy appointment. That was the extent and highlight of his week.


Then one day several years ago, Brian became interested in some of his friend’s photos that he had posted online. He started asking some questions and decided to try to take a few photos of his own. That was five years ago. By his estimates, Brian has taken over 5,000 images.


 There’s no place that I feel safer than

here at the VA. 


“Photography has opened up a whole new world for me,” Brian said. “It gets me out of the house and motivates me to do something. Between the therapy I receive here at the VA and my photography, I am a much happier, well rounded person.”


Like many Veterans Brian finds a certain comfort in coming to the VA and spending time with other Veterans, ones that have shared the same experiences that he has.


“I take photos in the community but there’s no place that I feel safer than here at the VA,” Brian said. “Where else would I find a group of people that know how I feel and what I’ve been through? I love it here and think it is such a beautiful campus. The trees, the flowers, the buildings…they all inspire me.”






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2013/November/Gulf-Coast-Veteran-is-Thankful-for-VA.asp

Broken Heart: Call Saves Veteran’s Life



A doctor and patient hug

Dr. Alexis Harrison and her patient, Air Force Veteran Larry Kerr.










Larry Kerr, a 65-year-old Air Force Veteran, was sound asleep while his phone was ringing off the hook. It was the most important call of his life and he was missing it.


Was it the Publishers Clearing House people calling with some good news? Was it the IRS calling to tell him he had a big refund coming? Sadly, no.


It was the VA, calling to warn the Syracuse, Utah resident that he was in imminent danger of dying.


A Routine Visit to the Doctor


“I saw Mr. Kerr on June 5 in my clinic here at the Salt Lake City VA,” explained Dr. Alexis Harrison. “He came in for a routine visit. I already knew he had a heart condition, but then he told me about some new symptoms. He told me he often felt like his heart was racing.”


“I’d also been feeling out of breath,” Kerr said, “and I was tired all the time. So I went to the VA to get it checked out.”


“We ran a few tests, including an echocardiogram,” Harrison said. “His echocardiogram at baseline isn’t normal because of his heart condition, but I didn’t notice any new changes. Still, I wanted to make sure, so I sent him home with a Holter monitor.”


(A Holter monitor is a device that records your heart rhythm. If anything funny is going on with your ticker, the monitor sends out an alert and your doctor is notified.)


“You wear it for 48 hours,” Harrison said. “Mr. Kerr was experiencing heart palpitations on a regular basis, so I was fairly sure we’d record some information that would be useful.”


Getting Straight


“I’ve been to a lot of doctors and Alexis was the only one who thought about a Holter monitor,” Kerr said. “She wanted to find out what was going on. She told me, “We’re gonna get you straight.’”


The monitor did its job. Within a couple days, it alerted VA doctors that Kerr had a fast and irregular heart rhythm that had the potential to kill him suddenly.


“Mr Kerr had developed fast and recurrent ventricular tachycardia,” explained Dr. Jose Nativi-Nicolau, a heart failure specialist at the Salt Lake City VA. “People with this condition, combined with a history of heart disease are at risk from what we call Sudden Cardiac Death. I knew we needed to get in touch with him quickly.”


“The VA started calling me, frantically,” Kerr said. “But they couldn’t reach me. It was about 10:30 in the morning, and I was still sleeping. The morning is when I get my deepest sleep. I have insomnia, so I usually sleep until about noon. But then they started calling my cell phone.”


 Our whole goal is to learn as much as we can about our patients, develop a relationship with them and help them lead long, healthy lives. 
— Dr. Alexis Harrison, Salt Lake City VA


Half Asleep


“I called his home phone, and he wasn’t answering,” Nativi-Nicolau said. “I wasn’t going to just leave a message; the situation was too urgent. I needed to talk with someone. So I called his cell phone and he finally picked up.”


Kerr said he was still a bit too groggy to grasp what was happening. “I was still half asleep,” he said, “but I could hear the doctor saying, ‘Mr Kerr, get to the emergency room right now.’”


“First, I asked Mr. Kerr how he was feeling,” Nativi-Nicolau said. “He told me he was still having heart palpitations. I told him his Holter monitor was telling us he had a dangerous heart condition that needed to be addressed immediately. I told him he needed to get to the closest ER right now.”


“He was a little confused and anxious,” the doctor continued. “He said, ‘Do I have to go right now?’ He didn’t seem sure about what to do. So I told him I was calling 911. I told him to get ready, that an ambulance would be in front of his house in five or 10 minutes.”


The good doctor wasn’t exaggerating. Within a few short minutes, local police, fire and emergency medical service personnel were at Kerr’s door.


“I was still in my plaid pajamas,” Kerr said. “I didn’t even get a chance to comb my hair or put my glasses on.”


Smelling the Roses


The Air Force Veteran was promptly rushed to the nearest hospital. He was stabilized and then transferred to the Salt Lake City VA where doctors performed a life-saving operation.


“I’m grateful to all the people at the VA who helped me,” Kerr said. “And there was a ton of them, from the lady who drew my blood to the doctor who put the defibrillator and pacemaker in my chest. They’re all responsible for giving me back my life. They saved me.”


“I could have died that morning,” he added. “I suppose dying in your sleep isn’t a bad way to go. There would have been no pain, no nothing. But it would have been painful for my family.”


Upon further reflection, Kerr concluded that having a heartbeat is still a whole lot better than the alternative. “I still get to work on my rose bushes and my flowers,” he said. “I’m watering them this morning, because it’s been so hot. And I still get to be with my wife, my children and my ‘68 Mustang.”


“I guess every day you don’t wake up dead is a good day,” he observed.


“This story has a happy ending because a lot of different people did their jobs,” said Nativi-Nicolau, the VA doctor who made those persistent phone calls to Kerr’s home. “The ambulance crew, the staff at the local hospital, our people here at the VA … we all worked as a team.”


“I’m glad we were able to help Mr. Kerr,” he added. “That’s what we want. We want him to enjoy his life.”






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2013/November/Broken-Heart-Call-Saves-Veterans-Life.asp

MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS








MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

November 27, 2013





Printable Version




The blessings of freedom and justice, opportunity and prosperity, so dear to all Americans, were not gained without sacrifice, nor preserved without purpose.


These blessings are at the heart of our American celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday that acknowledges both our colonial roots and the beneficence of the Almighty.  Vital in that history was the sharing of the harvest by American Indians, enabling the preservation of our early settlers during those first winters in the New World.  Sharing one’s blessings and giving thanks for the bounties of the harvest, long a part of Native American culture, became part of our American Thanksgiving celebration, as well.  This cherished tradition endured and flourished as our Nation grew and prospered. 


Of this rich, new land, Thomas Jefferson once proclaimed to fellow Virginian, James Monroe, “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” [Letter, June 17, 1785]


The principles and values that define us as Americans found their origins in Jefferson’s time and have been sustained since by the vigilance and valor of generation after generation of men and women who, in both peace and war, have safeguarded our way of life.  At the Department of Veterans Affairs, caring for those who, in President Abraham Lincoln’s words, “have borne the battle” remains our noble mission.


President Lincoln further established the last Thursday of November as a national “day of Thanksgiving” for the benevolence and bounty that has been given to the American people.  On this uniquely American holiday, let us remember our good fortune at living in a land of plenty—safe, secure, and free from tyranny and oppression.


Another courageous generation of young Americans serves today as a force for good in some of the most remote and unforgiving places in the world.  Many will observe Thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday Season without the warmth and companionship of families and friends.  Their missions are difficult and dangerous, and they perform them without hesitation.  In this season of Thanksgiving, let us pray for their well-being and safe return.  As we gather at our own tables on November 28th, let us not only give thanks for the blessings in our own lives, but give thanks for the men and women who now serve, and for those who have served on Thanksgivings past, ensuring for us and future generations of Americans the “precious blessing” of liberty.


“Happy Thanksgiving” to all our Veterans and their families, to the Survivors of the Fallen, and to my VA colleagues across our Department, who serve them so faithfully.  May God continue to bless this great and wonderful country of ours. 


                                                                                     — Eric K. Shinseki




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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2501

Broken Heart: Call Saves Veteran’s Life



A doctor and patient hug

Dr. Alexis Harrison and her patient, Air Force Veteran Larry Kerr.










Larry Kerr, a 65-year-old Air Force Veteran, was sound asleep while his phone was ringing off the hook. It was the most important call of his life and he was missing it.


Was it the Publishers Clearing House people calling with some good news? Was it the IRS calling to tell him he had a big refund coming? Sadly, no.


It was the VA, calling to warn the Syracuse, Utah resident that he was in imminent danger of dying.


A Routine Visit to the Doctor


“I saw Mr. Kerr on June 5 in my clinic here at the Salt Lake City VA,” explained Dr. Alexis Harrison. “He came in for a routine visit. I already knew he had a heart condition, but then he told me about some new symptoms. He told me he often felt like his heart was racing.”


“I’d also been feeling out of breath,” Kerr said, “and I was tired all the time. So I went to the VA to get it checked out.”


“We ran a few tests, including an echocardiogram,” Harrison said. “His echocardiogram at baseline isn’t normal because of his heart condition, but I didn’t notice any new changes. Still, I wanted to make sure, so I sent him home with a Holter monitor.”


(A Holter monitor is a device that records your heart rhythm. If anything funny is going on with your ticker, the monitor sends out an alert and your doctor is notified.)


“You wear it for 48 hours,” Harrison said. “Mr. Kerr was experiencing heart palpitations on a regular basis, so I was fairly sure we’d record some information that would be useful.”


Getting Straight


“I’ve been to a lot of doctors and Alexis was the only one who thought about a Holter monitor,” Kerr said. “She wanted to find out what was going on. She told me, “We’re gonna get you straight.’”


The monitor did its job. Within a couple days, it alerted VA doctors that Kerr had a fast and irregular heart rhythm that had the potential to kill him suddenly.


“Mr Kerr had developed fast and recurrent ventricular tachycardia,” explained Dr. Jose Nativi-Nicolau, a heart failure specialist at the Salt Lake City VA. “People with this condition, combined with a history of heart disease are at risk from what we call Sudden Cardiac Death. I knew we needed to get in touch with him quickly.”


“The VA started calling me, frantically,” Kerr said. “But they couldn’t reach me. It was about 10:30 in the morning, and I was still sleeping. The morning is when I get my deepest sleep. I have insomnia, so I usually sleep until about noon. But then they started calling my cell phone.”


 Our whole goal is to learn as much as we can about our patients, develop a relationship with them and help them lead long, healthy lives. 
— Dr. Alexis Harrison, Salt Lake City VA


Half Asleep


“I called his home phone, and he wasn’t answering,” Nativi-Nicolau said. “I wasn’t going to just leave a message; the situation was too urgent. I needed to talk with someone. So I called his cell phone and he finally picked up.”


Kerr said he was still a bit too groggy to grasp what was happening. “I was still half asleep,” he said, “but I could hear the doctor saying, ‘Mr Kerr, get to the emergency room right now.’”


“First, I asked Mr. Kerr how he was feeling,” Nativi-Nicolau said. “He told me he was still having heart palpitations. I told him his Holter monitor was telling us he had a dangerous heart condition that needed to be addressed immediately. I told him he needed to get to the closest ER right now.”


“He was a little confused and anxious,” the doctor continued. “He said, ‘Do I have to go right now?’ He didn’t seem sure about what to do. So I told him I was calling 911. I told him to get ready, that an ambulance would be in front of his house in five or 10 minutes.”


The good doctor wasn’t exaggerating. Within a few short minutes, local police, fire and emergency medical service personnel were at Kerr’s door.


“I was still in my plaid pajamas,” Kerr said. “I didn’t even get a chance to comb my hair or put my glasses on.”


Smelling the Roses


The Air Force Veteran was promptly rushed to the nearest hospital. He was stabilized and then transferred to the Salt Lake City VA where doctors performed a life-saving operation.


“I’m grateful to all the people at the VA who helped me,” Kerr said. “And there was a ton of them, from the lady who drew my blood to the doctor who put the defibrillator and pacemaker in my chest. They’re all responsible for giving me back my life. They saved me.”


“I could have died that morning,” he added. “I suppose dying in your sleep isn’t a bad way to go. There would have been no pain, no nothing. But it would have been painful for my family.”


Upon further reflection, Kerr concluded that having a heartbeat is still a whole lot better than the alternative. “I still get to work on my rose bushes and my flowers,” he said. “I’m watering them this morning, because it’s been so hot. And I still get to be with my wife, my children and my ‘68 Mustang.”


“I guess every day you don’t wake up dead is a good day,” he observed.


“This story has a happy ending because a lot of different people did their jobs,” said Nativi-Nicolau, the VA doctor who made those persistent phone calls to Kerr’s home. “The ambulance crew, the staff at the local hospital, our people here at the VA … we all worked as a team.”


“I’m glad we were able to help Mr. Kerr,” he added. “That’s what we want. We want him to enjoy his life.”






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2013/November/Broken-Heart-Call-Saves-Veterans-Life.asp

VA Marks the 10-Year Anniversary of My HealtheVet








VA Marks the 10-Year Anniversary of My HealtheVet

November 26, 2013





Printable Version




Online Access Available to Support Veterans Health Care


WASHINGTON — In recognition of the 10th anniversary of its award-winning Personal Health Record, My HealtheVet (www.myhealth.va.gov), the Department of Veterans Affairs is urging all Veterans and Servicemembers to join the millions already accessing VA health care information and services online.  VA is marking this milestone by spreading the word about the benefits of My HealtheVet Personal Health Record, such as VA prescription refill, VA notes, VA Blue Button and secure messaging with VA health care providers.  


“VA is a pioneer and a leader of health information technology that improves patient-provider relationships, embraces wellness and improves health outcomes for the brave men and women who have served our Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “va invites all Veterans and Servicemembers to get online to become more active partners in their health care.” 


Throughout November, My HealtheVet Coordinators at all 151 VA medical centers organized community events, host enrollment and education health fairs, lead training sessions and work with VA Voluntary Service to showcase how My HealtheVet contributes to more informed and more engaged Veteran patients.  VA continues to build its My HealtheVet online health record, adding new online tools and features, and My HealtheVet Coordinators are geared up to accept new My HealtheVet enrollees throughout November.


“VA is dedicated to providing Veterans with the best experience possible, both at VA facilities and online,” said Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Robert A. Petzel. “We are proud to celebrate a decade of online access for Veterans and look forward to a future of even more access to meet their evolving needs.”


My HealtheVet is VA’s award-winning website that offers Veterans secure access to portions of information in their VA health care records anywhere and anytime.  Its web-based tools give users greater control over their care and wellness, helping them become active partners in their health care.  


In addition to allowing Veterans access to their records, My HealtheVet lets them save, print and share their health information using the VA Blue Button, refill VA prescriptions online and track their health activities. Veterans who upgrade their accounts, free of charge, can use secure messaging to communicate electronically with their VA health care teams between visits.  They can also view VA appointments, get VA Wellness Reminders, access VA lab results and more.


“We urge Veterans and Servicemembers to go online during November and throughout the year,” said Theresa Hancock, director of the My HealtheVet program. “My HealtheVet offers a flexible and convenient way for Veterans to become engaged in their health care and well-being.”


My HealtheVet is celebrating 10 years of online access.  All Veterans and Servicemembers are encouraged to enroll or upgrade today at www.myhealth.va.gov.


 #   #   #




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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2500

Broken Heart: Call Saves Veteran’s Life



A doctor and patient hug

Dr. Alexis Harrison and her patient, Air Force Veteran Larry Kerr.










Larry Kerr, a 65-year-old Air Force Veteran, was sound asleep while his phone was ringing off the hook. It was the most important call of his life and he was missing it.


Was it the Publishers Clearing House people calling with some good news? Was it the IRS calling to tell him he had a big refund coming? Sadly, no.


It was the VA, calling to warn the Syracuse, Utah resident that he was in imminent danger of dying.


A Routine Visit to the Doctor


“I saw Mr. Kerr on June 5 in my clinic here at the Salt Lake City VA,” explained Dr. Alexis Harrison. “He came in for a routine visit. I already knew he had a heart condition, but then he told me about some new symptoms. He told me he often felt like his heart was racing.”


“I’d also been feeling out of breath,” Kerr said, “and I was tired all the time. So I went to the VA to get it checked out.”


“We ran a few tests, including an echocardiogram,” Harrison said. “His echocardiogram at baseline isn’t normal because of his heart condition, but I didn’t notice any new changes. Still, I wanted to make sure, so I sent him home with a Holter monitor.”


(A Holter monitor is a device that records your heart rhythm. If anything funny is going on with your ticker, the monitor sends out an alert and your doctor is notified.)


“You wear it for 48 hours,” Harrison said. “Mr. Kerr was experiencing heart palpitations on a regular basis, so I was fairly sure we’d record some information that would be useful.”


Getting Straight


“I’ve been to a lot of doctors and Alexis was the only one who thought about a Holter monitor,” Kerr said. “She wanted to find out what was going on. She told me, “We’re gonna get you straight.’”


The monitor did its job. Within a couple days, it alerted VA doctors that Kerr had a fast and irregular heart rhythm that had the potential to kill him suddenly.


“Mr Kerr had developed fast and recurrent ventricular tachycardia,” explained Dr. Jose Nativi-Nicolau, a heart failure specialist at the Salt Lake City VA. “People with this condition, combined with a history of heart disease are at risk from what we call Sudden Cardiac Death. I knew we needed to get in touch with him quickly.”


“The VA started calling me, frantically,” Kerr said. “But they couldn’t reach me. It was about 10:30 in the morning, and I was still sleeping. The morning is when I get my deepest sleep. I have insomnia, so I usually sleep until about noon. But then they started calling my cell phone.”


 Our whole goal is to learn as much as we can about our patients, develop a relationship with them and help them lead long, healthy lives. 
— Dr. Alexis Harrison, Salt Lake City VA


Half Asleep


“I called his home phone, and he wasn’t answering,” Nativi-Nicolau said. “I wasn’t going to just leave a message; the situation was too urgent. I needed to talk with someone. So I called his cell phone and he finally picked up.”


Kerr said he was still a bit too groggy to grasp what was happening. “I was still half asleep,” he said, “but I could hear the doctor saying, ‘Mr Kerr, get to the emergency room right now.’”


“First, I asked Mr. Kerr how he was feeling,” Nativi-Nicolau said. “He told me he was still having heart palpitations. I told him his Holter monitor was telling us he had a dangerous heart condition that needed to be addressed immediately. I told him he needed to get to the closest ER right now.”


“He was a little confused and anxious,” the doctor continued. “He said, ‘Do I have to go right now?’ He didn’t seem sure about what to do. So I told him I was calling 911. I told him to get ready, that an ambulance would be in front of his house in five or 10 minutes.”


The good doctor wasn’t exaggerating. Within a few short minutes, local police, fire and emergency medical service personnel were at Kerr’s door.


“I was still in my plaid pajamas,” Kerr said. “I didn’t even get a chance to comb my hair or put my glasses on.”


Smelling the Roses


The Air Force Veteran was promptly rushed to the nearest hospital. He was stabilized and then transferred to the Salt Lake City VA where doctors performed a life-saving operation.


“I’m grateful to all the people at the VA who helped me,” Kerr said. “And there was a ton of them, from the lady who drew my blood to the doctor who put the defibrillator and pacemaker in my chest. They’re all responsible for giving me back my life. They saved me.”


“I could have died that morning,” he added. “I suppose dying in your sleep isn’t a bad way to go. There would have been no pain, no nothing. But it would have been painful for my family.”


Upon further reflection, Kerr concluded that having a heartbeat is still a whole lot better than the alternative. “I still get to work on my rose bushes and my flowers,” he said. “I’m watering them this morning, because it’s been so hot. And I still get to be with my wife, my children and my ‘68 Mustang.”


“I guess every day you don’t wake up dead is a good day,” he observed.


“This story has a happy ending because a lot of different people did their jobs,” said Nativi-Nicolau, the VA doctor who made those persistent phone calls to Kerr’s home. “The ambulance crew, the staff at the local hospital, our people here at the VA … we all worked as a team.”


“I’m glad we were able to help Mr. Kerr,” he added. “That’s what we want. We want him to enjoy his life.”






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2013/November/Broken-Heart-Call-Saves-Veterans-Life.asp

FRAUD ALERT for Call Center

General Announcements


FRAUD ALERT

November 22, 2013 09:00 AM

Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the GI Bill Call Center and VA National Call Center. Two fraudulent numbers that differ from the official VA call center numbers by one digit are being used to gain access to personal and financial information, including credit card information, from Veterans that call in. Please note that VA will never ask you for a credit card number or banking information over the phone. Be cautious giving personal sensitive information over the phone and make sure that you dial the correct number when trying to reach us.

The fraudulent numbers are:

  • 800-872-1000 (the CORRECT VA National Call Center number is 800-827-1000)
  • 888-442-4511 (the CORRECT VA GI Bill Call Center number is 888-442-4551)

VRAP Program Applications are Now Closed

October 1, 2013 10:21 AM

VA is no longer accepting appliations for the VRAP Program, by lay we cannot accept any applications after October 1, 2013. Click here for more information.



Veteran’s Field Guide to Government Shutdown Issued

September 27, 2013 3:33 PM

VA has issued guidance on services that would and would not be affected in the event of a government shutdown. Click here for more information.


Some DEA Beneficiaries May Now Receive A Combined 81 Months of GI Bill Benefits

September 23, 2013 1:55 PM

Effective October 1, 2013, some DEA participants who are also eligible for other GI Bill programs may receive up to 81 months of benefits under a combination of benefit programs. Click here for more information.



New GI Bill rates Available

September 11, 2013 10:40 AM

The fiscal year 2014 rates are now available for the Montgomery GI Bill, REAP, and DEA programs. Click here for more information.


Reminder VRAP Applications Must Be Submitted No Later Than October 1, 2013

September 4, 2013 1:34 PM

By law, VA cannot accept applications for VRAP after October 1, 2013. VRAP applications MUST be submitted no later than October 1st! Please visit eBenefits to apply. Remember, to complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation you wish to train in. To view an informative video on how to complete the application click here. NOTE: You do not have to select a program and high-demand occupation in order to complete the application like the video states.


CareerScope Interest & Aptitude Assessment Tool Available

August 26, 2013 11:11 AM

Not sure what you want to study in school? Looking for a new career to get you started after leaving the military? CareerScope can help get you on the path to picking a career that fits you!

CareerScope is a career assessment tool that measures aptitude and interests to help users begin their career or educational planning process. We have partnered with CareerScope to make the tool available, free of cost, on our website. The online assessment takes less than an hour and can help get you on the right path towards a fulfilling career. Check it out now!


Guide to choosing a school updated

August 8, 2013 11:01 AM

Learn the six things you should know before choosing a school and factors to consider before using the GI Bill. Click here to view our guide to choosing a school.


Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair – St. Louis

July 29, 2013 11:17 AM

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host “Hiring Our Heroes – St. Louis,” a hiring fair for veterans and military spouses in concert with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Veterans Small Business Conference. Over 100 employers are expected to participate with jobs available for Veterans and military spouses of all ranks and levels of experience. Companies range from America’s biggest employers to dozens of small companies from the region. The event will also include a free Hiring Our Heroes employment workshop that features one-on-one mentoring sessions on resume building, job search tools, and interviewing techniques for all job-seekers.

Click here for information.


change to Work Study Activities

July 23, 2013 11:18 AM

On June 30, 2013, some work-study activities authorized by Congress expired.  VA can no longer pay for a few particular work-study activities. To see what the changes are, click here.

Work Study Video Online

June 27, 2013 09:17 AM

Mr. Curtis Coy, VA’s Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Opportunity, discusses the benefits of the work-study program for those using the GI Bill. Click here to see the video and learn more about the work-study program.


Regional Processing Center Change

May 22, 2013 3:03 PM

To improve our national service delivery and better balance the distribution of education workload, VA is realigning the processing of education benefits in the states of Florida and South Carolina. If you attend school (in a classroom or online) in South Carolina or Florida, your claim will now be processed in our Muskogee, OK office. You should continue to contact VA with general education benefit inquiries, questions about the status of your claim, and changes to your address or direct deposit information by calling 888 GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551), or by logging onto our web page at https://gibill.custhelp.com. These transactions will automatically be connected to the correct VA Regional Processing Office. Written correspondence should go to:

VA Regional Processing Office

P.O. Box 8888

Muskogee, OK 74402-8888

Again, we want you to know there is nothing you need to do if you correspond with us electronically, as most of you and your schools do.


Improving Transparency of Education opportunities Act of 2012 Report To Congress Now Available

May 16, 2013 11:11 AM

VA submitted a report to Congress in April providing an update on the progress made in implementing P.L. 112-249, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012. Click here to read VA’s report.


Education Claims Processing Timeliness Statistics Now Available

May 1, 2013 1:40 PM

Timeliness statistics now available for each Regional Processing Office. Click here to be taken to our Regional Processing Office information page.


College Navigator Tool Now Online

April 10, 2013 10:00 AM

The College Navigator is an online tool from the Department of Education that allows you to search for a school, compare schools, use an interactive map to pinpoint school locations, and much more.

Check it out.


Will Your Monthly Housing Allowance Change?

January 9, 2013 9:22 AM

As you may know, the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments you receive for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the military’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. The Department of Defense adjusts the military BAH rate every calendar year (or January 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. Rates can either go up or down.

Public Law 111 – 377 (the Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act of 2010) amended the effective date for the adjustment of the MHA you receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill from the beginning of the calendar year (January 1) to the beginning of the academic year (August 1).

If the BAH increased for your area, you will not see an increase until your September 2013 payment for training pursued in August. If the BAH decreases for your area, your MHA amount will not decrease unless you change schools or have more than a six-month break in training.



A Letter to Higher Education executives for spring 2013

December 14, 2012 1:23 PM

VA recognizes that timely payments of GI Bill benefits is critical to students and their schools, and we need to work closely with our educational partners in making the payment process more effective for all involved parties.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which Congress created in 2008, is a large and complex program to administer.  In the past three years, VA has provided more than $24.4 billion in tuition and benefits to over 870,000 Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families, and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend.  By law, the tuition and fee payments to schools and the monthly housing allowance and books/supplies stipends paid directly to Veterans are triggered by receipt of enrollment certifications submitted by School Certifying Officials (SCO) at each institution.  The law prohibits VA from paying benefits to beneficiaries or their schools until certification of enrollment is received; no funds can be authorized “up front,” therefore the earlier VA receives these certifications, the sooner payments can be made.

The Under Secretary for Benefits has provided a letter to education executives to 1) thank them for their support of the program thus far, 2) request emphasis on the prompt administrative processing of student Veteran certifications, and 3) seek ideas on how to improve the process so that VA can optimize the delivery of this comprehensive education benefit for Veterans. 



Treasury Department Fraud and Identity Theft Prevention Public Service Announcement

December 7, 2012 2:22 PM

The following video was created to help inform Veterans and other federal beneficiaries on how to protect themselves and their benefit payments.

Check it out.


VA is Automating Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits and School Certifying Officials Can Help Increase the Volume

November 5, 2012 2:22 PM

VA recently began automating electronic certifications for Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients enrolled at degree granting schools. We are currently automating over one-quarter of the electronic submissions but this number can be increased with the assistance of School Certifying Officials by minimizing the use of free-text remarks. You can read more about it by clicking here.


Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair and Career Forum

October 18, 2012 10:30 AM

DC area job seekers: Register for a FREE Hiring Fair and Career Forum conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for Veterans, Servicemembers, Guard and Reserve Members, and military spouses at Nationals Park from 9 a.m. to noon on December 5, 2012. The Military Spouse Business Alliance and Blue Star Families will host workshops during the event.


To view other military hiring events conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce across the country, go to http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events.



GI Bill Officially a Registered Trademark of VA

October 16, 2012 12:00 PM

President Obama signed Executive Order 13607 on April 26, 2012, directing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense, and the Department of Education to undertake a number of measures to “stop deceptive and misleading” promotional efforts that target the GI Bill educational benefits of Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible family members and survivors. Trademarking “GI Bill” was part of that order to protect military families from being misled by schools that target their federal education benefits.

Today GI Bill is an officially registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Milestone for the VRAP Program

September 18, 2012 9:18 AM

We hit 45,000 approved applications for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)! We’re excited so many Veterans have taken the opportunity to achieve their educational goals. Help us continue the momentum. We are still accepting applications for VRAP. If your application is approved, you will be eligible for VRAP benefits beginning October 1, 2012.

Do you know anyone who might qualify? If so, let them know about this great program and our website at www.benefits.va.gov/VOW/education.htm


VA to host the National Small Business Conference and VA for Vets Hiring Fair in Detroit June 26 – 29

May 23, 2012 11:33 AM

VA’s National Small Business Conference and Expo will give Veterans the opportunity to network and check out private and public sector job openings.  About 500 booths will be on display at this year’s conference, taking place in Detroit, MI from June 26 to 29.  For more information about the Small Business Conference visit http://nationalveteransconference.com/.

For more information about the Hiring Fair visit http://nationalveteransconference.com/hiring_fair.

VRAP Applications Are Open

May 15, 2012 10:30 AM

We are accepting VRAP applications now. Please visit eBenefits to apply. Remember, to complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation.


President Obama Signs Executive Order Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members

May 10, 2012 10:10 AM

The President signed Executive Order 13607: Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members on April 27, 2012.  These principles were developed to strengthen oversight, enforcement, and accountability of education programs, and to ensure our service members, Veterans, and their families have the information they need to make informed decisions concerning their well-earned educational benefits. You can read more about it at the White House link here.



Email Notification for VRAP Program Available

April 30, 2012 7:38 AM

You can now sign up to be notified of new developments in the VRAP program and receive a reminder email when we will begin accepting applications. Click here to be added to our email list.


Veterans Opportunity to Work website launched

April 19, 2012 9:25 AM

The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) website is now available, providing a wealth of information on the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. It includes details about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), tax credits for employers, vocational rehabilitation services, transition assistance programs, and Department of Labor (DOL) resources.

VA and DOL are dedicated to outreach efforts to ensure information about the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) reaches qualified Veterans and provides information on eligibility and how to apply.

Qualified Veterans will be able to apply for VRAP directly from the site beginning May 15, 2012.


Now Accepting Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements for the 2012 Academic Year

March 28, 2012 1:38 PM

Yellow Ribbon Program agreements and related documents are now posted to the School Resources Yellow Ribbon Program Information page.


Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions

March 26, 2012 12:15 PM

The School Resource Page now has a link to the American Council on Education “Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions.” This online resource is designed to help institutions of higher education build effective programs for veteran students and share information.


Direct Deposit Now Available for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Recipients

March 2, 2012 1:45 PM

If you receive DEA you can now sign up to have your benefits delivered via direct deposit.* To sign up for direct deposit you will need to know the type of account (checking or savings) you want your direct deposit sent to, your bank’s 9-digit routing number, and your account number.

Find the Routing Number on Your Check

Image of check

If you don’t know your routing and/or account number, contact your bank for the information. Once you have your account type, routing number, and account number, you can sign up for direct deposit by:

  • Calling the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-GI-Bill-1 (1-888-442-4551)
  • Completing the direct deposit application located here (you should select “Education” under Type of Benefit) and mailing it to:

    Department of Veterans Affairs

    125 S. Main Street, Suite B

    Muskogee OK 74401-7004

*Direct deposit is only available for beneficiaries with a U.S. mailing address.


Tillman Military Scholar Program Opens Monday, February 13

January 23, 2012 11:45 AM

On Monday, February 13, the Pat Tillman Foundation will begin taking applications for the Tillman Military Scholar Program. Applications will be accepted until March 16th.

In 2002, Pat Tillman left his NFL career and turned down a multi-million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist and serve his country as an Army Ranger in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. A role model of courage and patriotism, he served several combat tours, but was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.

The mission of the Pat Tillman Foundation is to invest in Veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships and building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. The Military Scholar Program offers financial assistance to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their spouses to cover academic and/or living expenses while in school. You must pursue an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degree as a full-time student at a public or private, 4-year U.S.-based accredited institution to qualify.
For more information on application and eligibility requirements please go to The Pat Tillman Foundation

Some Attendance Verifications Delayed

January 12, 2012 12:34 PM

There was a delay in processing verifications submitted through WAVE and the automated phone system over the New Year’s holiday. If you verified your attendance on 12/31 or 1/1, your payment will be delayed approximately one week. This was a system error and we apologize for the inconvenience.


Reminder of Housing Allowance Changes

December 20, 2011 2:15 PM

As you may know, the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments you receive for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the military’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. Department of Defense adjusts the military BAH rate every calendar year (or January 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. Rates can either go up or down.

Public Law 111 – 377 (the Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act of 2010) amended the effective date for the adjustment of the MHA you receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill from the beginning of the calendar year (January 1) to the beginning of the academic year (August 1). Therefore , if the BAH increased for your area, you will not see an increase until your September 2012 payment for training pursued in August. If the BAH decreases for your area, your MHA amount will not decrease unless you change schools or have more than a six-month break in training.


VOW to Hire Heroes Act Information

November 22, 2011 9:00 AM

Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. A new benefit for unemployed veterans. For more information click here.



Questions & Answers Section of Website Unavailable

September 8, 2011 11:11 AM

The Questions & Answers section of our website will be unavailable from Friday September 9, 2011 at 8:00 PM EDT until Saturday September 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM EDT for a software upgrade.

The Consumer Financial Protection Board Helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and their Families

August 8, 2011 700 AM

Now available on the CFBP homepage – Information for servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

Read their latest Blog post – “Military Advocates On Duty”. Military personnel, veterans, and family members can submit a credit card complaint and “Tell Us Your Story.” From paying for education to personal financial management; from your VA Benefits to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the CFPB has information to help servicemembers, veterans, and their families.


Visit them at www.consumerfinance.gov



Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 Signed Into Law

August 4, 2011 10:00 AM

On August 3, 2011, President Obama signed the “Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011” into law. This legislation amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill, modifying the rules governing the way VA pays for private colleges or universities that have tuition & fee charges greater than the $17,500 per academic year. Click here for more information.

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System is Down back up as of 15:24hrs, July 8, 2011

July 8, 2011 3:24 PM

UPDATE: The IVR system is now available. Full functionality has been restored. Verifications received today through the weekend via IVR will be processed on Monday.


July 1, 2011 12:00 PM

We are experiencing a problem with the hardware that supports IVR, the system that allows you to verify your attendance over the telephone. The IVR system is expected to be unavailable for up to four weeks. You may verify your attendance electronically on the GI Bill website by clicking on the “Verify Attendance” button in the middle of the page. That button will direct you to our Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system. You will have to register as a new user if you have never verified your enrollment through WAVE.


If you are receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill you do not have to verify your attendance through WAVE. Your School Certifying Official (SCO) is responsible for verifying your attendance with VA at the beginning of your term. You are responsible for ensuring that your SCO is aware of your enrollment, and any subsequent changes in your schedule.


If you have further questions, please submit them using “Submit a Question” at (www.gibill.va.gov)



The Post-9/11 GI Bill and debt – understanding why and how it works

June 20, 2011 3:00 PM

If you incur a debt as a result of overpayment of GI Bill benefits we have some Frequently Asked Questions to assist you. Click here for more information.




New School Certifying Official Handbook Released Today

June 3, 2011 12:50 PM

We have written and published a School Certifying Official (SCO) Handbook for VA Certifying Officials and anyone at a school involved with certification of beneficiaries of VA education benefits.  This SCO Handbook is a collaboration of the four Regional Processing Offices and Education Service and is intended to be the official source of information for VA Certifying Officials.


Certification instructions in this handbook are based on the use of VA-ONCE and include general information about the program. VA-ONCE is a VA Internet based application for certifying students.  Detailed information about VA-ONCE and about accessing VA-ONCE is available at www.gibill.va.gov/school-certifying-officials.  We strongly encourage all schools to utilize the VA-ONCE program for electronic certification.

There are a number of additional resources that are also available on the School Certifying Officials webpage, including Online Training For New Certifying Officials. The web-based training course is strongly recommended for new VA Certifying Officials and is also useful as refresher training for existing VA Certifying Officials.


The SCO Handbook can be downloaded at http://gibill.va.gov/school-certifying-officials/sco-training-resources/handbook.html as a PDF file.

2011 – 2012 Participating Yellow Ribbon Programs

May 27, 2011 1:25 PM

The Yellow Ribbon Program enrollment season has ended. We’ve published a list of participating programs on our website here. The participating Yellow Ribbon programs in this list are the ones we’ve processed. We will continue to process and update this list.   We expect all approved agreements to be posted by June 3, 2011.


Pat Tillman Scholarship Initiative

May 24, 2011 1:15 PM

If you don’t qualify for the GI Bill, are interested in reducing your out-of-pocket costs for school, or just know someone who can use the information, we now have scholarship information available on our website.

Included is information about the Pat Tillman Scholarship Foundation, which offers scholarships to servicemembers, veterans, and dependents as well as covering other needs such as housing and child-care expenses as well as a link to the Department of Education’s scholarship database.

We also have information for schools or scholarship providers who wish to be added to the scholarship listings provided by the Department of Education.

For more information click here.


How Will Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill Affect Flight Training?

May 16, 2011 10:30 AM

Effective October 1, 2011 Vocational Flight Training will be payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, for a summary of the changes click here.


Veterans Field Guide to Government Shutdown

April 8, 2011 2:55 PM

In the event of a federal shutdown, most VA services will still be available. However, it’s important that you know how the GI Bill will be impacted.

For the full list of what will be available and what will be suspended, click here for more information.




Vice President Biden’s Call To Boost College Graduation Rates

March 28, 2011 11:05 AM

On March 22, 2011 Vice President Biden issued a call to action to boost college graduation rates across the country. The Vice President released a new College Completion Tool Kit for states and Governors to draw ideas and options from.

Click here for more information.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a School

March 21, 2011 12:35 PM

We have put together a helpful guide that contains many factors that may assist you when choosing a school.

Click here to access the guide.


Choosing A School Section of website unavailable this Sunday

March 3, 2011 12:35 PM

The “Choosing A School” application will be unavailable this Sunday, March 6, 2011 from 5 – 9 pm for scheduled maintenance


Post-9/11 GI Bill Change for some servicemembers and their transferee spouses

March 3, 2011 12:35 PM

All active duty servicemembers and their designated transferee spouse’s tuition payments will reflect the eligibility tier based on length of service for enrollments beginning on or after March 5, 2011.


2011 Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements Now Being Accepted

February 24, 2011 01:30 PM

We are currently accepting Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements for the 2011 academic year. The form as well as instructions and related materials can be found by clicking here.


Information Related to Delayed Processing of Spring 2011 Enrollments

February 8, 2011 03:00 PM

We would like to make you aware that VA’s offices responsible for processing Education benefits payments have been closed several days during January due to inclement weather. We are working hard to get caught up including working mandatory overtime on Saturdays and Sundays. We expect to have the situation under control within the next week to ten days. We are very concerned about the difficulties this can cause if you have not yet received your February 1 check and we are working hard to get you paid.

Until your February 1 payment is received, we have created a letter you may wish to show creditors. That letter may be found below.

View the letter here.


Severe Winter Weather Causes Claims Processing Delays

February 8, 2011 02:35 PM

Severe winter weather across much of the nation has caused unexpected delays in processing payments for Spring 2011 enrollments. We are implementing many stopgap procedures to bring the workload down, including temporary staff reassignments, mandatory overtime, and tiger teams. Rest assured we are doing our best to get your benefits to you as soon as possible.


Yellow Ribbon Program Agreement Information for 2011

January 24, 2011 08:00 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs will start accepting Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements for the 2011 – 2012 academic year on or about February 23, 2011. The agreement and detailed instructions will be available on our website on that date. Program enrollment season will last until May 23, 2011. Click here for more information.



2011 BAH Rate Increase Payments Coming

January 20, 2011 10:00 AM

Effective January 1, 2011, DoD adjusted most housing rates. VA’s housing payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the E-5 with dependents level for the zip code where you attend school. The DoD rates changed in January, so if your housing rate went up, you will see it in your February payment. Your payments will update to the 2011 rates automatically.

If your housing rate decreased for 2011, you will continue to receive the higher 2010 rate unless you change schools or have more than a 6-month break in school attendance.

You can see the new rates at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm




Major Changes Coming to the GI Bill in 2011

January 5, 2011 06:52 AM

Major changes are coming to all GI Bill programs next year, especially the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Click here for more information.


Reporting Requirements for Spring 2011 Semester

December 7, 2010 10:10 AM

School Certifying Officials are encouraged to submit enrollment certifications for the Spring 2011 semester as early as possible even if the tuition and fee rate is not set.
Click here for more information.


National Call Center Unavailable

November 30, 2010 01:54 PM

If you’re trying to reach the Muskogee, OK education call center today, it is currently down and no calls are getting through. The outage is due to an equipment malfunction. Technicians are now onsite replacing the faulty equipment. Estimated time of completion is COB today, November 30, 2010.


Find a School Section of Website Unavailable Saturday November 20

November 18, 2010 09:50 AM

The “Find a School” section of our website will be unavailable Saturday November 20 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM for a software upgrade.


Information on Preparatory Courses Online

October 29, 2010 09:00 AM

Information now online about preparatory courses and how you may be eligible for benefits while taking them. Click here for more information.

Student Veterans of America 2010 National Conference Approaching

September 14, 2010 01:25 PM

The 2010 Student Veterans of America National Conference will be held October 1 – 4 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. For more information click here.

Website Unavailability This Weekend

October 5, 2010 01:25 PM

The telephone certification system and some portions of the GI Bill website may be unavailable Saturday October 9 @ 6:00 PM EST through Monday October 11 @ 1:00 PM EST for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Student Veterans of America 2010 National Conference Approaching

September 14, 2010 01:25 PM

The 2010 Student Veterans of America National Conference will be held October 1 – 4 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. For more information click here.

VA has begun updating housing payments with the 2010 BAH rates for Post-9/11 GI Bill students

September 01, 2010 02:15 PM

Effective January 1, 2010, DoD adjusted most housing rates. VA’s housing payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the DoD basic allowance for housing at the E-5 with dependents level for the zip code where you attend school. Our new education claims processing system will begin phasing in the new rates September 1, 2010. You can see the new rates at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/bah.html

When will VA start paying the 2010 rates?

We will begin issuing checks at the 2010 rate on September 1st. We expect all files to be updated by the October housing payment.

Do I have to submit a form or do anything to get the new housing rate?

Your payments will update to the 2010 rates automatically, you do not need to do anything.

My housing rate increased in 2010. Do I get back-pay?

We will send you a one-time payment for the additional amount you are owed for your school attendance in 2010. The payment will cover any increase due you for housing allowance during the period January 1, 2010 through July 31, 2010 and will be direct-deposited to your account during the first week of September. The housing allowance for August, that is payable on September 1, will be at the 2010 rate.

I’m in school now and am expecting an increase. How does that work?

If you are currently in school or plan to re-enroll this year, your monthly housing allowance for August 2010 (paid on September 1st) will be at the 2010 rate.

I started school for the first time under the Post-9/11 GI Bill after January 1, 2010 and the housing rate for my area decreased for 2010. What happens to my payments?

You were receiving the 2009 rate. Your payment on September 1st (for the housing allowance for the month of August 2010) will be paid based on the 2010 housing rate. You will not continue to be paid at the higher 2009 rate. However, any housing payments previously paid to you at the 2009 rate will not be reduced and there will not be an overpayment on your record.

I started school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2009 and the housing rate decreased for 2010. How does that work?

You will continue to receive the higher 2009 rate during 2010 unless you change schools or have more than a 6-month break in school attendance.
However, in the transition to our new computer system, some housing payments were inadvertently reduced to the lower 2010 rate. VA is taking immediate action to pay you the higher 2009 rate.

  • Your award is being adjusted to return your monthly housing allowance rate to the higher 2009 rate. You will receive a payment for the difference between the 2010 and 2009 rate for your September 1, 2010, payment.
  • For future payments, your monthly housing allowance will remain at the higher 2009 rate. You will continue to receive this rate unless you change schools or have more than a six-month break in attendance.

My housing rate is the same, is there a change to my VA housing?

Your VA housing payment will not change.

If you have other questions, be sure to check www.GIBILL.va.gov and use the “Ask a Question feature, or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

2010 – 2011 Maximum Tuition and Fee Rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are Available

August 31, 2010 02:00 PM

The maximum in-state tuition and fee rates are now available for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You can find the rates at the following link: http://www.gibill.va.gov/gi_bill_info/ch33/tuition_and_fees.htm

These rates are effective for training pursued on or after August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011.

Introducing My Story

August 23, 2010 08:22 AM

As part of our National Outreach and Awareness Campaign, Education Service is now featuring its new series, My Story, on the GI Bill Website at: www.gibill.va.gov/my-story. Through this page we are sharing the real life stories of Veterans and Servicemembers, and their personal experiences with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Every My Story is different. Yet they all share a common thread — creating a better future using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

We invite you to read and watch the videos about these inspiring students. If you have a personal success story that you want to share on our My Story page please email us at post911.gibill.vbaco@va.gov. Make sure to include your full name, email address, and a few sentences about why you think you’d make a good candidate and why you would like to participate.


Also, be on the lookout for the My Story print ads in your favorite military publications and look for more videos on the website in the future.

2011 Rate Tables Now Online

August 19, 2010 12:22 PM

2011 Rate Tables for Montgomery GI Bill, REAP, and DEA are now online. Rate increases are effective October 1, 2010. Click here to view the new rates.


Trying to Remember our Phone Number?

July 20, 2010 8:30 AM

We’ve noticed a few schools and webpages with an incorrect phone number for questions about the GI Bill. We want to remind you that the correct toll free number for the GI Bill Hotline is 1-888-GIBILL-1, not 1-800-GIBill-1. That phone number again is 1-888-GIBILL-1.


Yellow Ribbon Program Submission Deadline Extended

July 9, 2010 6:15 PM

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Yellow Ribbon Program,  VA has decided to extend the deadline for Yellow Ribbon Program agreements for the 2010 – 2011 academic year.  The original deadline was May 21, 2010,  but VA has extended it to July 23, 2010.   Schools who otherwise sent their agreement late or missed the deadline now have an opportunity to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program.  


All fields must be properly filled out and the form must be signed by an official that has the authority  to enter into agreements for the school.  Please send questions or concerns to the Yellow Ribbon Program Management Team at yellow.ribbon@va.gov.   Completed forms must be received by VA no later than July 23, 1010. 


You can learn more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program and find the agreement form by clicking here.




Mississippi and Alabama Claims Are Now Serviced by the Muskogee Office

June 21, 2010 5:25 PM

Effective immediately, the Muskogee Regional Processing Office will now process claims for Mississippi and Alabama. The address for the Muskogee office is P.O. Box 8888, Muskogee, OK, 74402-8888.


VA Begins Accepting Applications for the fry scholarship May 1

April 30, 2010 2:25 PM

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry, 28, of Lorena, Texas, only had a week left in his Iraq tour in 2006 when he injured his hand. He was given the option of leaving Iraq after the injury and going home with a Bronze Star. He declined and volunteered to go on one last run to defuse bombs. After working seven more hours, Gunnery Sgt. Fry was killed March 8, 2006, by an improvised explosive device in Anbar province, Iraq. He left behind his widow and three small children.


Public Law 111-32, The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill to expand the benefit to children of fallen U.S. soldiers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. 


On May 1, 2010, VA will begin accepting applications for the Fry Scholarship. Please see the Fry Scholarship fact sheet here

 

2010 – 2011 Yellow Ribbon Program Information Now Online

April 19, 2010 10:30 AM

Initial Yellow Ribbon Information is now posted for the 2010 – 2011 school year. The list is not final and will be updated periodically as additional information is received. The final listing of schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program will be posted approximately June 7, 2010. Click here to view the list.


Advance Pay Recoupment Issues

April 3, 2010 9:05 AM

Many of you have commented on the fact that your Advance Payment recoupment was more than the amount you asked VA’s Debt Management Center (DMC) to withhold from your April benefit. We hear you loud and clear and we’re looking into some glitches in the system that snagged a number of people accidentally. We should have the issue solved within a few days.

Everyone is going to get all the money to which they are entitled. We understand that a number of student Veterans did not receive their March education benefit as expected on April 1 because of an error in the process of recovering funds for the Fall 2009 advance payments. For some student Veterans, the full amount of the benefit was deducted to recover the advance payment when a lesser amount should have been deducted. VA’s actions to refund this error are underway.


Letters will be sent within the next 48 hours to everyone affected by the issue either by email or through the United States Postal Service. We apologize for the inconvenience this inadvertently caused Veterans and their families. We ask for your patience as we resolve this important issue. We will update with any changes to our progress of correcting the error.
You do not need to take any action; VA is working with the U.S Department of the Treasury to refund the over-collections. Payments will be issued to student Veterans within a week.



Advance Pay Recoupment

March 19, 2010 10:15 PM

If you wish to set up a payment plan for the deduction of an advance payment of benefits you received for the Fall 2009 semester you must submit a request form. Please note that requests for payment plans or credit card payments must be received prior to 10 working days of month’s end to prevent deduction of the advance payment the following month. ALL REQUESTS FOR REDUCTIONS IN OFFSET ARE SUBJECT TO REVIEW AND APPROVAL BY DEBT MANAGEMENT CENTER.

Download the request form.

Break pay Frequently Asked Questions updated

March 19, 2010 10:45 AM

We have updated the Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to break (or interval) pay. Click here to see them.


Extended hours at the Education Call Center

March 10, 2010 1:45 PM

The Education Call Center is now open from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM central time.

Call Center Information on Advance Pay Repayment

March 4, 2010 10:52 AM

VA’s Debt Management Center (DMC) recently sent out letters advising veterans of their options for repaying the Advance Payment of education benefits they received for this past Fall term. If you are having trouble reaching DMC over the phone in regards to Advance Payment recoupment, you can also contact VA’s Education Call Center (ECC) toll-free at 1-888-442-4551 or visit http://www.pay.va.gov for instructions on how to submit payments. You may also go to our “Ask a Question” page to submit a question online.


Ask A Question portion of our website unavailabilty

February 26, 2010 1:20 PM

The Ask A Question portion of our website will be unavailable from 8:00 PM, Saturday February 27 to 12:00 PM, Sunday February 28 for a software upgrade.


Education Call Center Now Open Monday Through Friday

February 19, 2010 10:00 AM

Effective immediately, VA’s Education Call Center is now open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 5:00pm Central Time. Please contact us at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) with any inquiries.


Information About Advance Pay Availability

February 17, 2010 10:55 AM

Effective February 19, 2010, emergency advance payment checks will no longer be available. Individuals who received advance pay for the fall semester will receive notification letters explaining the repayment process.


Information About Advance Pay Recovery Procedures

February 11, 2010 10:00 AM

We have posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the recovery procedure of the Emergency Advance Payment for Fall 2009 GI Bill benefits some personnel may have received. For more information click the headline above.

Source Article from http://gibill.va.gov/community/announcements/general.html#112213

Veteran’s Field Guide to Government Shutdown Issued

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Veterans Applaud Senators Reid and Heller for Supporting Military Sexual Trauma Survivors

Veterans Applaud Senators Reid and Heller for Supporting Military Sexual Trauma Survivors

CONTACT: Carlisle Williams (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Veterans Applaud Senators Reid and Heller for Supporting Military Sexual Trauma Survivors 

Military Justice Improvement Act Critical to Reforming Broken System

WASHINGTON, DC (November 19, 2013) – Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) applauds Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller from Nevada for becoming the 49th and 50th Senators to publicly support the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA).  Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to include the MJIA in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“Today, Senators Reid and Heller stepped up and got our veterans’ backs. The bipartisan support of Senators Reid and Heller for the Military Justice Improvement Act is huge,” said Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of IAVA.  “When the Department of Defense reported that there were an estimated 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact in the military in 2012, it was a massive wake-up call. Senators Reid and Heller are making a real difference for Nevada veterans by supporting reform that would result in a stronger military justice system for our servicewomen and servicemen.”

The Military Justice Improvement Act is essential to protecting survivors of military sexual assault, as well as strengthening the health and well being of our military. It would put decisions of whether to move cases involving serious crimes to a court martial in the hands of experienced military prosecutors, establishing a more impartial justice system that will balance aggressive prosecution with the rights of the accused. 

This week, IAVA is mobilizing members nationwide, in Washington and online to support the MJIA. IAVA is also encouraging all Americans to call their Senators and encouraging them to stand with IAVA and its allies on this important issue. 

Note to media: Please email press@iava.org.if you would like to schedule an interview with IAVA.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. 

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