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Veteran Services FAQs

 


How do I apply for Education Benefits?

 

You will need to go to apply for benefits online at benefits.va.gov. If you have questions, contact the VA education benefit hotline for assistance at 1-888-442-4551.


How long will it take for the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin monthly payments?

 

Original new claims may take up to twelve weeks to process (The Department of Veterans Affairs must develop the claim for eligibility and then make the award). In the case of a returning student it may take up to eight weeks to process. You may track the educational claim by calling 1-888-442-4551. Enrollment certifications are processed by the Veteran Benefit Services office in date order as they are received from the student.

 


How can I receive my VA benefits as fast as possible?

 

Early enrollment is strongly encouraged is possible. No action in the Veteran Benefit Services office will occur for any semester until you have submitted to the Veteran Benefit Services Office an Advisory Form with required signatures and received by the Veteran Benefit Services office.  The following are a variety of issues that can specifically affect the smooth continuation of your VA benefits as well as helpful hints for avoiding payment problems and delays.

 

  • Keep the Veteran Benefit Services office notified of any changes in your name, address, or telephone numbers.
  • A change in your class schedule may affect your VA benefits. Frequent changes often can cause a delay or an overpayment of benefits.  VA will only issue benefits for courses that are necessary to complete your degree.
  • If you decide to change your major, notify Veteran Benefit Services at the time of submission of the Advisory Form for the latest semester you wish to be certified.
  • Timely submission of the Advisory Form will enable our office to send your claim to the VA so you can receive your benefits in a timely manner.
  • If you wait until the first week of the term to submit the Advisory Form, please understand that this is a peak work time for the Veteran Benefit Services office (and for the VA Regional Processing Office). Each benefit claim is processed as quickly as possible in the date order it is received.
  • If you make any changes to the approved classes from the original Advisory Form submitted– dropping or adding of courses - please note that these changes have the possibility of changing the payment rates and enrollment status to be reported to the VA.  It is recommended to make as few class schedule changes as possible to eliminate payment problems or processing delays.

Are there any other forms that need to be submitted?

 

Yes, each semester that you wish to receive educational benefits, a Veteran Advisory Form must be completed, listing the classes enrolled in for that semester and signed by your advisor. These forms are available at the Office of the Registrar, 322 Student Union or download and print from our Forms page. The advisory form must be submitted as soon after enrollment as possible in order to insure no delay in your enrollment certification.


How many credits do I have to take? What are graduate student requirements?

 

For full-time benefits, you must carry a minimum of twelve credit hours. The summer semester requires you to be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours.

 

Graduate students are considered full-time with nine credit hours for the fall and spring and a minimum of two credit hours for the summer semester.


Do I have to contact the Veteran Services Office again once I am certified?

 

Yes. All students on the GI Bill are required to verify their enrollment with the Office of the Registrar at the beginning of each semester. A completed advisory form must be on file each semester that you wish to draw benefits. You are also required to report any changes in your program, credit load, or address.


What if I withdraw from school during the semester?

 

Generally, the VA will require that you repay any money you have received for that semester. You have the opportunity to submit a letter of mitigating circumstances to show that the withdrawal was unavoidable. If the VA agrees that the circumstances were beyond your control, the benefits will be terminated effective the date of withdrawal and no overpayment will be established. Overpayments for withdrawals are at the discretion of the VA if required.


What happens if I drop a course?

 

If you withdraw after the school's drop period, the VA will reduce or stop benefits on the date of reduction. If you are assigned a non-punitive ("W") grade, you may have to repay all benefits for the course unless there are mitigating circumstances (illness, illness or death in the immediate family, changes in employment, or lack of child care).


Will the VA pay for courses that are not in my major program?

 

Normally, federal law prohibits payment for courses that do not lead to a student's educational objective. You may be paid for a course not in your major program under certain circumstances:

 

  • If it is a valid prerequisite for a course that is required in your major program.
  • On your final graduating semester, if you are enrolled in at least one course that is required in your major program, then you may enroll in courses which do not have to be in the major program for the purpose of rounding-out to full-time.

It is the first of the month and my check is late. What should I do?

 

If you have received your checks at the same time every month, call the VA Regional Office. The Office of the Registrar has no control over the disbursement of checks - only the regional office can tell you when and where your last check was mailed and if there is a problem.


As a student eligible to utilize Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits, can I also apply for federal financial aid or scholarships?

 

Receiving education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs does not preclude you from also applying for financial aid or scholarships.


VA Regional Office:

 

125 S. Main Street
Muskogee, OK 74401
1-888-442-4551

 

Other helpful numbers:

 

Education Benefits Direct Deposit: 1-888-442-4551
Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (W.A.V.E.): 1-877-823-2378
Non-education related VA information And Questions: 1-800-827-1000
Visit the VA at www.va.gov.

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