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When Should My Daughter Apply for Her Certificate of Eligibility?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My daughter was recently turned down for the Post-9/11 GI Bill because she isn’t 18 and doesn’t have a secondary school diploma yet. She will graduate at 17 years of age in June 2010 and is accepted to start college in August/Sep 2010. When can or should she reapply? I am concerned that if we must wait until the end of June, the VA will not process the tuition paperwork and start tuition payments for the fall 2010 term. Your thoughts?

A: Because she will still be 17 when she graduates, she should apply as soon as she has her diploma. There are two important blocks on VA Form 22-1990e Post-9/11 GI Bill application that determines whether or not a dependent with transferred benefits gets approved or not:

  • Block 3 – Applicant’s Date of Birth
  • Block 8b – Diploma, Yes or No

If her date of birth calculates out to she is 18, she should get approved. If she is not 18, but checks the “Yes” box in Block 8b, she may get approved, but because she didn’t meet either requirement, she was disapproved.

The VA is down to about 8 weeks for processing GI Bill applications, so if she sends in her application now (do it through the VONAPP Website as it is faster), she should get approval and her Post-9/11 GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility before her school starts in late August or in September.

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