The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will soon require almost all users of the GI Bill to verify their attendance before receiving any monthly payments.
The new rule affects about 85% of the over 650,000 veterans and dependents using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This should be a relatively straightforward process.
The Montgomery GI system has always required users to verify their monthly attendance before receiving payment. Post-9/11 GI Bill users who attended technical or non-college degree schools from September 2021 to December 2021 were required to confirm their attendance with the VA before receiving their regular monthly payment.
The VA recently announced this requirement for all college students who enrolled on or after Dec. 17, 2021. The change was posted on the VA's Facebook page on Jan. 20.
Therefore, if you have recently enrolled in your spring semester or winter quarter, you won't get your Post-9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) on Feb. 1 unless you verify your attendance with the VA, even if you've been receiving it before. MHA payments typically exceed $1,700.
This new rule does not affect dependents receiving the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) education benefit or veterans receiving the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC), Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) or Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship.
A VA representative will contact all affected students by text or email and let them know they must begin enrollment verification. VA says it will contact students by phone or email using the information on file.
Any students who have not heard from the VA's Education Call Center by the end of the month should call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
Students can also update or verify their contact information online by visiting the VA's website.
Two consecutive months of non-verification will put a hold on your payments, and one has to verify their enrollment with the VA before your payments can be released.
A video explaining the VA's enrollment verification process is available as well.
At least for now, the new rule does not affect those using their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for flight training, correspondence training or on-the-job training programs.
Verifying text messages
Text message verification will be available for most GI Bill users.
Most students will receive a text message asking them to enroll in the text messaging verification system before the end of the month. GI Bill housing and kicker payments require monthly enrollment verification. Would you like to provide yours via text? Please reply YES or NO.
The VA will send a student a text message each month asking her to verify that she attended classes the previous month after agreeing to receive text messages from the VA. The VA will send a verification text on the last day of the month or term.
The student will be issued a monthly payment if they respond positively. The student will need to call the Education Call Center at 888-GIBILL-1 to verify their attendance if they don't respond to the text within six days. Student payments will be suspended pending information from the school if the student responds that they are no longer enrolled in classes.
Verification of email addresses
Students who do not wish to verify by text message, are studying abroad, or are otherwise unable to confirm by text will use email verification instead.
The VA will send you a monthly email with the subject line "Action Required: Verify Your Monthly Enrollment". Upon clicking "YES", a confirmation page will appear. The VA will have to call those who have not responded within 14 days to verify their attendance if they have not responded via text message.
Never text or email your VA your Social Security number or bank account information.