Do you know how to access your GI Bill Statement of Benefits? The Department of Veterans Affairs official site includes a section dedicated to the GI Bill including pages for the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and the Selected Reserve GI Bill.
Among the primary pages in that section you’ll find instructions on how to apply for your benefits and what to do after you’ve applied. In general, applying for the GI Bill requires about 30 days for the VA to process the application and send you a Certificate of Eligibility in the mail.
The Montgomery GI Bill pages indicate that, like the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can apply online, apply by mail, or apply using the assistance of a veterans service organization like the USO, DAV, VFW, etc.
Where the Post 9/11 GI Bill section differs from the Montgomery GI Bill? Those using the Post 9/11 GI Bill can access an online copy of their GI Bill Statement of Benefits which includes the details on how much of your GI Bill you’ve used to date and how much of your Post-9/11 GI Bill remains for future use.
You cannot access a GI Bill statement of benefits unless you were awarded those benefits–you won’t be able to access the statement prior to signing up or while you await the VA to process your GI Bill application.
Remember that it may take a month or longer for the application to be processed and plan your application timing accordingly.
Why Do You Need A GI Bill Statement of Benefits?
There are many reasons why you might need to access an electronic version of your GI Bill benefits statement. One reason involves being able to verify with your school for the purposes of billing–if there’s some kind of miscommunication between your school’s registrar and the billing office you may need to show proof of your benefits, for example.
Equally probable, you could need it when changing schools or if you choose to take classes at a different college for credits you want to transfer to your current program. In such cases you may need something to show the registrar at the new college to get your application moving forward or use certain options open to veteran students.
And there are more mundane reasons–your college may experience a crashed server that requires your data be reentered into the system, there may be changes to the school’s procedures or policies regarding attendance with the GI Bill, or there may be a new program that requires some form of proof that you are attending as a veteran.
Using A GI Bill Statement Of Benefits
In order to access your Statement of Benefits for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you will need to use or create accounts at one of the following:
- DS Logon
It’s best to create an account with one of these sites before you actually need to use it. Don’t wait until you are trying to submit documentation to your school or the VA to do so as you may or may not have delays because of tech support issues, backlogs in processing, or other issues.
You must have or create an account AND have submitted your VA loan benefits application in order to see the data presented on the GI Bill Statement of Benefits. That data will include the previously mentioned Post 9/11 benefits information (benefits used, benefits which remain) but also any applicable time remaining to use your GI Bill benefits where applicable.
That is according to the VA official site which reminds users that a time limit for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits may exist for you depending on when you signed up. In general:
Applicants with military service that ended before Jan. 1, 2013, have 15 years after the last separation date from active service to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Any remaining benefits after the 15-year time limit are lost.
Applicants with service that ended on or after Jan. 1, 2013 have GI Bill befits that do not expire but the VA warns that some correspondence from, or publications by, the VA may not be updated right away to reflect that–always ask if you aren’t sure.
Who Can Use A GI Bill Statement of Benefits?
Only those who have applied for GI Bill Benefits and have received a VA decision letter about those benefits can access the Benefit Statements. Furthermore, this option is ONLY available to the military member. Family members and dependents who may have GI Bill access thanks to the servicemember transferring benefits to them cannot use the electronic statement of benefits.
If you need an update for family members you must request a new GI Bill Certificate Of Eligibility to get your most recent statement. You can call the VA Education Center for assistance–call 888-442-4551 Monday through Friday.
If You Have Trouble Accessing Your Statement Of Benefits
There are several reasons why you may not be able to access a GI Bill Statement of Benefits. One of several scenarios may apply and not all of them have to do with your own ability to use the GI Bill. Sometimes there may be clerical errors or other problems that need addressing. Those issues can include (but aren’t limited to):
- The name on your online account doesn’t exactly match the name we have in VA Post-9/11 GI Bill records
- The VA may still be processing your initial application for benefits and hasn’t created a record for your account yet
- The applicant hasn’t applied for or is not eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits
- Online access is not guaranteed 24/7–you may be trying to access your account or the Statement of Benefits tool during scheduled downtime
If your issue isn’t listed above, contact the GI Bill Hotline at 888-442-4551 to learn the current status of the system and/or your account.
Alternate Options For Certain Information
In some cases you might need specific information such as the date of your most recent VA benefits payment. In the absence of the GI Bill Statement of Benefits (for whatever reason) you may be able to use information in your Premium DS Logon account (not My HealtheVet or ID.Me, which cannot be used in this way) associated with your VA payment history.
Do you need to provide a college with the dates of your last VA benefits payment associated with your GI Bill? You can access that information via eBenefits with a DS Logon account and provide it to the school.
Veterans can access the following VA payment details (for past payments):
- Disability compensation
- Pension benefits
- Education benefits
Dependents can login to access the following information on past payments for:
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35 benefits)
- Survivors pension benefits
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
This tool is not specific to your GI Bill benefits and may not provide information about your current or future eligibility, but in cases where you need to prove that a VA payment was rendered, this tool can help if you cannot access a GI Bill Statement of Benefits for some reason.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
|GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility||Post 9/11 GI Bill Overview|
|My HealtheVet||Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance|
|VA Survivors Pension||Dependency & Indemnity Compensation|