Post Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) - Chapter 32
The Post Vietnam Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) was enacted by Congress to provide educational fund-matching to Armed Forces personnel after the Vietnam conflict. A sub-program, titled Education Assistance Pilot Program, Section 903, was designed to attract men and women into the all volunteer military by paying all of their required contributions. In addition, Section 903 participants could transfer unused benefits to a spouse or child.
Chapter 32: Five Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility for VEAP is dependent on five things:
1. Date of military service entry. To qualify, servicemembers had to enter active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985
2. Vietnam GI Bill ineligibility. Servicemembers who are eligible for the Vietnam-era GI Bill cannot get VEAP
3. Monetary contribution. The contribution account must have been established before April 1, 1987 with a contribution between $25 and $2,700
4. Length of active duty. If enlistment date is before September 7, 1980 and active duty entrance date is before October 16, 1981, then 181 days of active duty service are required. If enlistment date is after September 7, 1981 and active duty entrance date is after October 16, 1981, then the required amount of active duty service is 24 months
5. Character of discharge. Servicemembers must have an honorable discharge
Servicemembers with VEAP who switched to the Montgomery GI Bill before the October 31, 2001 deadline are no longer eligible for Chapter 32 benefits. Servicemembers eligible for multiple GI Bills cannot draw benefits from two or more GI Bills at the same time. However, benefits may be drawn from a second GI Bill after the first one is exhausted.
The number of months of eligibility (from 1 to 36) is dependent on the number of months the servicemember contributed to the account. For each $1 contributed, the Government contributed $2.
Using VEAP Benefits
Eligibility for benefits usually lasts for 10 years from the date of discharge or until benefits are exhausted. The 10-year delimiting date may be extended if the servicemember was prevented from attending school due to being:
- Held by a foreign power
- Temporarily disabled
- Recalled to active duty
When requesting a delimiting date extension, it's recommended that servicemembers provide as much documentation pertaining to the reason for not being able to attend school as possible. In the case of disability, copies of both doctor and hospital notes along with lab reports should be submitted. In the case of being recalled for 90 days or more, the delimiting date is reset to the new discharge date.
Benefits may be used to attend training in the following programs:
- Undergraduate and graduate degrees
- Business, trade or technical courses
- Licenses and certifications
- Apprenticeship/OJT programs
- Correspondence courses
- Vocational flight training
Many of the above programs, including degree programs are often offered through online distance learning venues. Attendance at foreign colleges and universities is authorized provided the courses taken apply toward a college degree. Benefits may also pay reimbursement up to $2,000 for each license or certification test.
Veterans can apply to start using benefits by either submitting VA Form 22-1990 from the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP), or downloading the form, completing it and sending it, along with one of the forms below, to the VA Regional Office servicing the state where training will take place. One of the following documents must accompany VA Form 22-1990:
- Certificate of Release from active duty
- A discharge from active duty
Servicemembers still on active duty must have a VEAP application for benefits approved by the Installation Education Service Office. If a servicemember does not plan on using VEAP benefits, VA Form 22-5281 may be submitted to withdraw personal contributions paid into the program.
Estimating Monthly Chapter 32 Benefits
To estimate monthly benefits, the following formula can be used:
(Personal contributions) x (Government contributions) / (Total months of contributions)
For example, if a servicemember contributed $75 per month for 36 months, the personal contribution was $2,700. The government contribution would be twice this amount or $5,400 for a total contribution of $8,100. The total of $8,100/36 months = $225 per month for 36 months.
It is important to use VEAP benefits before they expire. If a servicemember does not intend on using the benefits, it is a smart strategy to request the contribution back.