How to Apply For and Begin Using My Veterans Benefits
Step One: Identify the Veterans Educational Benefits that apply to you.
• Review the VA education benefits programs and determine which benefits you are eligible for based on military service. If you are eligible for more than one benefit, decide which one makes the most sense based on your goals and needs. Don't forget that some benefits are transferable to dependents or spouses.
• The following VA Chapters are directly managed by our Certifying Official, Lynn Gates, in room 23 of Dickinson Hall.
UMass Amherst participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program
• If you are an out-of-state resident and eligible for 100% of Chapter 33 Post 9-11 GI Bill® entitlement, you are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. This program will split the out-of-state mandatory fees between UMass and the VA.
Step Two: Apply for your benefits.
• You must be a degree-seeking student (matriculated into an approved degree or approved certificate program) in order to receive these benefits.
• Apply for your Veterans Education Benefits at www.va.gov.
• Once the VA has processed and approved your application, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility from their office. You can also submit a screen shot of your educational benefits page from eBenefits or va.gov account.
• Submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility in person, email, or fax:
Scan to email@example.com or fax to (413) 577-2471 Attn: Lynn Gates.
• The Certificate of Eligibility will allow us to verify your enrollment to the VA. Mandatory Tuition and Fees will be reported after the add drop period.
Step Three: Make sure the Certifying Official at UMass Amherst has all the appropriate forms to certify you.
• You must submit your Certificate of Eligibility in order to receive your VA educational benefits. You can drop off a copy, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax it to 413-577-2471
Members of the Montgomery GI Bill®/Prior Active Duty Programs and Post 9/11 must provide:
• Application for Educational Assistance (VA Form 22-1900) or Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation (VA Form 28-1900) if appropriate.
• Photocopy of DD-214 Discharge Document, Member 4. This form is provided to you by your military branch at completion of enlistment.
Members of the Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve/National Guard must provide:
• Application for Educational Assistance (VA Form 22-1990)
• Copy of DD Form 2384 Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE). This form is provided to you by your unit.
Dependents or Spouse of 100% Disabled or Deceased Veterans (Service Connected) must provide:
• Application for Educational Assistance (VA Form 22-5490)
Step Four: Take Ownership Of Your Benefits.
Every semester, it is your responsibility to make sure the Certifying Official is aware of changes to your student status, change of credits, including change of major. Monitor your University bill on SPIRE and your VA Benefits on Benefits.
• You will be certified every semester you’re enrolled in classes, including winter and summer sessions, unless you request to not use benefits. Please send such requests to email@example.com . Please include your spire identification number and specify the term in your email.
• Certification is a two-step process. Credits are submitted to the VA approximately 30 days prior to the beginning of each semester. Fees are submitted after the add-drop date each semester.
• If you have any questions at all, or think something might be wrong, please contact Certifying Official Lynn Gates immediately so she can assist you.
Please note: ‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill."