What is the Reserve Educational Assistance Program?
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program, known as REAP for short, makes VA school benefits available to Reserve members of any military branch, given they have been called into active duty as a result of:
- The declaration of war, or
- The issuing of a national emergency.
Officially known as Chapter 1607 from U.S. Code Title 10, REAP offers anywhere up to 1 ½ years of veteran educational benefits. For more information about the benefits available and eligibility requirements, take a look at the information below.
What Kind of Benefits are Available with REAP?
The initiation of your eligibility is dependent on the Department of Defense’s decision regarding your ability to apply. The Department of Homeland Security’s decision will also affect your benefit’s eligibility and amount you are available for, the general time frame of benefits availability is usually up to 36 months of benefits. Because the REAP program is linked to the Montgomery GI Bill, the payout system is as follows:
- Service men and women who participated in 90 days of active duty are able to obtain 40% of the available Montgomery GI Bill’s three year payment total.
- Service men and women who participated in 1 year of active duty are able to obtain 60% of the available Montgomery GI Bill’s three year payment total. Service men and women who participated in at least two years of continuous service are able to obtain up to 80% of the Montgomery GI Bill’s three year rate.
Am I Eligible?
In order to apply for VA education benefits, each interested applicant must first ensure he or she is eligible to apply. As we stated above, eligibility is determined by both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, equally. Most branches of the military, however, are usually eligible if they served in active duty on or after September 11, 2015 for a minimum of ninety days. National Guard representatives, however, are only considered eligible for REAP in the event their period of active duty service after they have been authorized as a resource in the event of a national emergency by either the President or the secretary of Defense, as well as being approved by Section 502(f), U.S. Code Title 32.