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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most common questions Vets ask about VA Education Benefits with Schools

Every veteran needs to know how VA Educational Benefits work with a school. Applying for the benefit is easy, but knowing the consequences is critical. Before any veteran drops a class, or thinks they are going to fail a class, please review the questions and answers below. If the answers are confusing, please contact Brent Haddow at brent.haddow@va.gov who can describe how Educational Benefits work. If you would prefer to contact the GI Bill hotline, please call 1-888-442-4551 to speak with a customer service representative.

1) What if I receive a failing grade?

If you fail a class you receive what is called a "punitive grade" for that class. A punitive grade is a grade that doesn’t count as earned credit, but is used in determining a student’s progress toward graduation requirements. This means that the grade you receive counts in your overall degree progress, albeit negatively. Since this grade counts towards your graduation progress you are not required to repay any GI Bill money you received for that class.

You may take the class again in an attempt to receive credit towards graduation or raise your grade for it and you may receive GI Bill payment for the retaking of the class.


2) How do I report a drop or withdrawal during the drop/add period?

If a student withdraws during the school’s drop period, identify the adjustment or termination as “During Drop Period”. The drop period is the designated period at the beginning of a quarter, semester, or term when students can add and drop classes without a withdrawal being recorded on the their transcript.

Please note that for VA purpose, the drop date cannot be more than 30 days from the beginning date of the quarter, semester, or term.


3) How Could You Become Indebted to VA?

There are two basic ways a debt can be created. We either—

Charges

Charges that turn into debts usually occur in health care, sometimes they occur in insurance. Here are some examples:

Charges always become a debt as soon as you visit the doctor or fill a prescription.

Overpayments

Overpayments are things we bought for you that you weren't entitled to. They can occur in any program, but they usually don't happen in Health Care. Here are some examples:


4) Can I transfer benefits to my dependents?

If you are a member of the Armed Forces on August 1, 2009 and eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Department of Defense (DoD) may offer you the opportunity to transfer benefits to your spouse or dependent children. Commissioned officers of the Public Health Service (PHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are eligible for the transferability option effective August 1, 2011.

While in the Armed Forces, transferors use the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) website to designate, modify, and revoke a Transfer of Entitlement (TOE) request. After leaving the Armed Forces, transferors may provide a future effective date for use of TOE, modify the number of months transferred, or revoke entitlement transferred by submitting a written request to VA.

NOTE: After separating from the Armed Forces individuals cannot designate new dependents to receive transferred entitlement or amend the effective date of the initial transfer of entitlement to an earlier date.


5) Are VA Education Benefits Taxable?

No. Any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.