Veterans Guide to Making Use of Your Benefits
Timothy D. Larson

Timothy D. Larson

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Veterans Guide to Making Use of Your Benefits

Educational Assistance Programs for Veterans

The educational assistance program administered by DVA under which a potentially eligible veteran and/or serviceperson may be entitled is largely dependent on when the individual served on active duty. DVA administers several educational assistance programs, and the basic eligibility criteria may vary from one to another. Generally, only DVA can determine an applicant's eligibility for educational assistance. In some instances, DVA will rely on the military to make the eligibility determination. It is most important to identify under what program a student may qualify, as the types of benefits payable will vary as well as the types of courses or programs of education that may be certified to DVA.

The major categories of DVA educational assistance programs of interest to schools and training establishments are:

  1. Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty (Chapter 30)
  2. Montgomery G.I. Bill - Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
  3. Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP - Chapter 32)
  4. Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)

For a detailed description of these programs, eligibility requirements, benefits, etc. see U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Service site.

As you leave military life, you may ask yourself what is next? In answering that question you may want specific information on education, training or career information. This is designed to give a brief overview of how to pursue that information.

Knowing where to look for information or asking the “right” questions are important to getting the “right” answers so you can meet with success as you take the next step in pursuing your professional goals whether it be education, career, or what?

Remember, information is vital in making decisions on your future, as you leave the military and embark on civilian life.

The most common question asked is - How do I get started?

The first thing to ask yourself is - Do I know what I want to do?

If the answer is yes, is additional education or training required?

If the answer is no, resources are available to help you figure out what is next.

There are a variety of different types of educational programs approved for veterans benefits which you may wish to consider. Depending upon your eligibility, you may use your VA educational benefits in any of the following:

Colleges and Universities - These are the only institutions in Connecticut that may offer collegiate programs or grant degrees.

Private Occupational or Trade Schools - These are non-collegiate institutions specializing in occupational related programs of short duration, which prepare students for career entry level employment.

Cosmetology and Hairdressing Schools - These schools provide non-collegiate programs devoted exclusively to the barber and hairdressing industry, offering career entry level employment.

Hospitals - These institutions provide non-collegiate programs in nursing and allied health (radiology, paramedic) programs as well as post graduate medical residencies.

High Schools or Regional Vocational-Technical Schools - These are High School Diploma programs and GED programs as well as post-diploma programs in occupational specialties such as Auto Repair, Carpentry, Welding and Health Careers. These programs provide career entry level employment.

OJT (On-the-Job Training)/Apprenticeship Programs - These are training programs that lead to the acquisition of skills needed for a particular occupation or to learn a skilled trade with the objective of journeyman status. Employer must seek approval.

Who can I talk to to find out what is available?

A good source is the Connecticut Department of Labor.


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