How to Apply For and Begin Using My Veterans Benefits
Step One: Identify the Veterans Educational Benefits You Want to Use!
• 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 new online GI Bill comparison tool can help you decide what benefits you are eligible for.
• The following VA Chapters are directly managed by our Certifying Official, Lynn Gates, in Whitmore 215.
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
To apply for your federal education benefit, go to www.vets.gov . This application will start the process for you to receive your federal education benefit. Once you receive your VA Certificate of Eligibility in the mail, you must submit this to Lynn Gates (UMass Amherst Certifying Official) in the Bursar's Office. The certification letter from the VA will state what federal education benefits you will be able to receive.
Veterans Benefits Manager
215 Bursars Office
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 413-545-2297
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.
• If you are taking classes during the winter or summer sessions, you must email the Certifying Official at email@example.com so we know to process your benefits.
• 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.