Guide to Certifying Veterans for Educational Benefits
Timothy D. Larson

Timothy D. Larson

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Guide to Certifying Veterans for Educational Benefits

A manual for certifying students under Veterans Laws can be found at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Service site. The Connecticut Certifying Official's Introductory Guide is also available for new certifying officials.

Application Forms

Application forms are available at all VA offices and most active duty stations. Certifying officials should keep a supply on hand at all times. All forms are obtainable form VA regional offices. A formal application for admission to the institution should be completed before an application for VA benefits is submitted. Since the students’ application forms do not include enrollment certification data, claimants should be encouraged to take their completed applications and supporting documents to the school certifying official so that the documents can be submitted as a package enrollment with Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification. Students have one year from the beginning date of their training in which to file an application and to receive benefits from the beginning date. After receipt of an original application the claimant will be sent an Acknowledgment of Receipt of Claim. It will display the official VA claim number which the student and the school should use in all future correspondence with VA.

Form #22-1990 Application for Education Benefits
Form #28-1900 Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation
Form #22-5490 Application For Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
Form #22-8889 Application For Educational Assistance Test Program Benefits
Form #22-1995 Request For Change Of Program Or Place Of Training
Form #22-5495 Request For Change Of Program Or Place Of Training: Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance
Form # 4-5281 Application For Refund Of Educational Contributions
Form #21-8924 Application For Benefits Under The Provisions Of Section 156, Public Law 97-377

Supporting Evidence

Veterans of the Armed Forces receive DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, when they are separated from service. Form 22-1990 to submit claims should have attached a copy of DD Form 214 as supporting documentation. The individual is usually given copy 4. Submit copy #4 of DD Form 214 or a certified copy of that page with their claim for VA benefits. Original copies of service documents will be returned by VA to the veteran in all cases. A photocopy of the DD Form 214 can also expedite an inquiry to the service department. Reservists DD Form 2384, Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program (GI BILL) Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) is provided to eligible reservists by his or her National Guard or Reserve component.

Where to Send Applications

Applications, enrollment certifications, correspondence, and inquiries or questions regarding an eligible student should be sent to:

VA Eastern Region Office
PO Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616

Certificate of Eligibility

When VA receives a completed application form without an Enrollment Certification, a Certificate of Eligibility (C/E), Form 22- 1993a, may be issued to the student , if eligibility exists and the selected program is approved. Two copies. The C/E is valid only at the institution named and only for the objective indicated. The student should present a copy of the certificate to the certifying official. The student’s presentation of a C/E to the certifying official assures the school that the student’s eligibility and entitlement to VA benefits have been established. It should be noted, however, that a student does not have to have a Certificate of Eligibility. The issuance of a C/E merely indicates that VA has already examined the student’s records and has established eligibility for the program of education shown thereon with any applicable limitations. The absence of a C/E on behalf of a student generally implies only that the student has not applied to VA for a particular program of education at a school and that a determination of eligibility or entitlement to the program being sought simply has not as yet been made.

Award Letter

When payment of education benefits is authorized, VA will mail an award letter to the student. Only one copy of this letter will be issued. Generally, the award letter is computer-generated.

Availability of Educational/Vocational Counseling (Chapters 30, 31, 32, 35, 1606 and Section 903)

It is recommended that the certifying official remind them at the time they submit an application for VA benefits of the free professional counseling services offered by the VA.

Basic Information for Certifying Officials

Approvals Required:

It is generally the responsibility of VA to determine the eligibility of veterans. The State Approving Agency (SAA) approves or disapproves programs and courses of instruction so that educational assistance benefits may be paid to veterans and other eligible persons under the several programs administered by VA. Two copies of the school’s latest catalog must be forwarded to the appropriate state approving agency. Each catalog must be certified as being correct in content and policy, and this certification must be signed by the appropriate school official. These must be submitted to the SAA as soon as they are published. Additional requests for approval of new programs and/or courses not contained in the current catalog may be submitted to the SAA by letter as soon as they are established by the institution.

VA Publications and Forms

Copies of forms may be procured by writing to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Regional Office - Publications Department
P.O. Box 310909
Newington, CT 06131-0909

Reporting Fees to Institutions

In December of each year, a listing of students who were receiving assistance during the month of October of that year is made by VA for each institution. Based on the number of students enrolled and in receipt of benefits, institutions are compensated at the rate of $7 for each student. If any advance payment or an education loan check is delivered by the institution, compensation is increased to the rate of $11 for that student. Prior to the delivery of any reporting fee payment by VA, an official at the institution must certify that the institution exercises reasonable diligence in meeting all applicable requirements of 38 U.S.C.

Availability of Information

You or the student can obtain additional information concerning VA benefits by writing or calling the regional office. There are toll free numbers. You should recommend to each student that he or she set up a folder in which copies of all correspondence and documents pertaining to his/her educational assistance be retained.

Reporting to the VA Regional Office

Telephonic notifications of these enrollment changes, particularly when the changes are discovered during the last half of a month, will assist VA in preventing overpayments of benefits. It is recommended that any telephone notice of reduction in training time or withdrawal from the institution be confirmed in writing by submitting a Form 22- 1999b to VA.

Advertising, Sales, or Enrollment Practices

No enrollment will be approved at institutions utilizing advertising, sales, or enrollment practices of any type which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimation. All approved institutions must maintain for a period of 12 months complete records and copies of all advertising, sales and enrollment materials used by or on behalf of the institution. These materials must be available for inspection by the SAA during supervisory visits and by VA during compliance surveys. These include, but are not limited to any direct mail pieces; brochures; printed literature used by sales people; films, videocassettes and audio tapes disseminated through broadcast media; material disseminated through print media; leaflets. Advertising must not leave a false, misleading, or exaggerated impression concerning the school, its personnel, courses, etc.


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