Frequently Asked Questions
The following are frequently asked questions about Veterans Affairs Educations Benefits Office (VAEBO). If you have a question that is not answered here, you may visit the federal Veterans Affairs site for more information, contact the VA Office, or call the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1.888.442.4551.
Q: The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) says I am not eligible? What do I do?
A: If the DVA notifies you that you are ineligible for benefits and you believe this is an incorrect evaluation, you should submit an appeal to the DVA as soon as possible.
Other than actual ineligibility, common reasons for DVA notification of ineligibility include:
- Insufficient Evidence of contribution to G.I. Bill
- Conflicting information regarding service dates
- Failure of Department of Defense to update eligibility information in computer system*
- Failure to provide the correct chapter number on the application for benefits
- A name change which may make it difficult for DVA to identify the veteran
- Confusion associated with multiple family members using benefits (ex., Harvey Holmes, Sr. and Harvey Holmes, Jr. using benefits at the same time)
Documents that may be required to resolve eligibility issues include:
- LES's showing all G.I. Bill contributions made
- Cash collection voucher showing proof of lump sum contribution
- Copies of all DD214's to reflect ALL periods of service
- Proof of name change (ex., marriage certificate showing both married and maiden name)
- Birth Certificate for dependents
*The Department of Veterans Affairs does not actually determine your eligibility. The DVA interprets and acts upon eligibility information maintained and updated by the Department of Defense. Ultimately, it is the Department of Defense that verifies or denies your eligibility to the DVA. The DVA simply communicates this information to you.
Q: Why have I not been certified yet?
A: Certification is the school's way of notifying DVA that you are enrolled and wish to be certified. Certifications are submitted each semester after you submit the Request for Certification Form and Program Evaluation.
Q: I have not been paid yet. Where is my check?
A: How long ago were you certified? It takes the DVA 4-6 weeks to verify new claims and/or process initial payment. Processing tends to take longer during the fall semester - the highest enrollment period of the year.
Chapters 30, 1606, and 1607 only - Did you submit your Verification of Enrollment to the DVA? You must verify your enrollment at the end of every month by visiting the DVA Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) website. If you do not verify your enrollment on the last calendar day of each month, you will not receive your monthly benefits.
Q: DVA says I'm only 1/2 time — but I'm concurrently enrolled at another institution. I should be getting a full time check. What do I do?
A: Did you request a Parent School Letter from CPCC’s Veterans Affairs Education Benefits Office? To qualify, the veteran should meet with an Academic Counselor to document that the courses will transfer to CPCC. The other (secondary) school at which you are enrolled will not certify your enrollment unless you provide them with a Parent School Letter. Contact the VAEBO at 704.330.6552
Q: My check reflects 3/4 time enrollment, but I've added a class. I'm full time. How do I fix this?
A: Changes in enrollment (drop/add/withdrawal attendance) should be reported to CPCC’s VAEBO Office within 5 working days. Student must complete a VA Schedule Adjustment Form. Allow the DVA 4-6 weeks to process the adjustment.
Q: I'm no longer active duty, but I'm still being paid tuition and fees only. When will I receive my full benefits?
A: When did you ETS? Did you provide us with a copy of your DD-214? When you ETS, it is the Department of Defense's responsibility to update your duty status in the computer system relied upon by DVA to process your benefit payments. Computer system updates could take up to 90 days. By providing our office with a copy of your DD-214 (Member 4 copy) you can expedite the conversion of your entitlement to "off-duty" pay. In general, allow DVA 30 to 60 days to adjust your pay following receipt of the DD-214.
Q: I've been paid too much money. I've received an overpayment letter. What do I do?
A: You should respond to the overpayment letter within 30 days. Appeal procedures are enclosed in your letter. If you know that you are at fault, you may either pay the DVA directly, or request that the overpayment be deducted from future entitlement.
Q: Are VA 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). You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.
Q: Do I get BAH while enrolled in distance learning?
A: If just one of your classes is categorized as “in-residence” and you are otherwise eligible, you would be entitled to the applicable BAH rate for the time you are engaged in “in-residence” training. This may include in-residence course(s) at the secondary school, provided you will receive credit toward your degree program for those courses.The BAH will be determined by the ZIP code of the “in-residence” course(s) school location. Those enrolled solely in distance or online training will be entitled to 1/2 the national average BAH rate.
Q: How do I verify my enrollment?
A: If you're receiving the Active Duty or Reserve GI Bill or REAP, use the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or call the toll free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at 1-877-VA-ECERT (1-877-823-2378) to verify your attendance.
Q: If I am eligible for the Active Duty GI Bill, the Reserve GI Bill, or REAP will I be able to switch to the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
A: If you are eligible for MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, or REAP on August 1, 2009, and you have met the eligibility requirements for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may be eligible to receive benefits under the new program
Q: How is my GI Bill entitlement charged?
A: You get 36 months of full-time entitlement under most GI Bill programs. In most cases your entitlement is charged according to your training time. Therefore, if you are training fulltime for 4 months you use up 4 months of entitlement, likewise if you are training at 1/2 time for 4 months you use up 2 months of entitlement.
Q: Can I be eligible for two or more education benefits?
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: If you qualify for both MGIB-AD (Chapter 30) and MGIB-SR (Chapter 1606), you can receive 36 months of entitlement at your MGIB-AD payment rate, and then an additional 12 months of entitlement at your MGIB-SR payment rate, up to the maximum total of 48 months entitlement.
Q: How do I set up Direct Deposit of my education benefits?
A: To enroll in Direct Deposit, please do one of the following:
- Login to WAVE (or create an account if you are a new user). On the WAVE Main page, click on the link that says “Direct Deposit Enrollment Form.” This form can be submitted electronically, or you can print out a hard copy and mail it to your local Regional Processing Office.
- Call the Direct Deposit center at 1.877.838.2778
Q: What are mitigating circumstances?
A: If a student drops a course or withdraws from school after the drop period and receives a non punitive grade, VA will reduce benefits effective the first day of the term unless mitigating circumstances are found. Mitigating circumstances are circumstances beyond the student's control that prevent the student from continuing in school or that cause the student to reduce credits.
- An illness or injury afflicting the student during the enrollment period.
- An illness or death in the student’s immediate family.
- An unavoidable change in the student’s conditions of employment.
- An unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from the student’s employment.
- Immediate family or financial obligations beyond the control of the claimant that require him or her to suspend pursuit of the program of education to obtain employment.
- Discontinuance of the course by the school.
- Unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training.
- Unanticipated difficulties with childcare arrangements the student has made for the period during which he or she is attending classes.