Reserve Component GI Bill

If you are an actively drilling member of the reserve components, you may be eligible for Chapter 1606 Reserve Component GI Bill. The reserve components consist of Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

Chapter 1606 Handout

Eligibility

To be eligible for Chapter 1606 you must:

  • Be a high school graduate or equivalent
  • Have a 6 year service obligation (typically your initial enlistment)
  • Complete your initial entry training (Basic Training and AIT or Tech training)

You will remain eligible for benefits for 14 years from the date of eligibility (usually the day you graduate AIT or Tech Training). You may use any one GI Bill benefit for up to 36 months of full time use and may be able to combine multiple GI Bill benefits for up to 48 months of use.

Applying for Benefits
If you have never used Chapter 1606 GI Bill benefits before you will need to apply for the benefits.

  1. Visit the VA’s website.
  2. Select the tab Apply for Benefits.
  3. Launch the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP).
  4. Complete and submit the application (VA Form 22-1990).

The VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) (VA Form 22-0557) in 4-6 weeks. When you receive the COE please provide a copy to the Military Certifying Official. You may also provide a copy of your Notice of Basic Eligibility (DD Form 2384-1).

Receiving Payments

When you notify the Military Certifying Official that you are registered for classes, the Military Certifying Official will submit a certification to the VA. The VA can take up to 4-6 weeks to process certifications.    

To receive the benefit payment you are required to complete a verification of attendance each month. The last day of the month is the first day you can verify attendance for that month. As an example; for a fall semester if school begins August 20th, the first day you can verify attendance is August 31st. Once you have completed the verification, the VA can process your payment. There are two ways to verify your attendance.  

  • Visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill then select the “Verify School Attendance” button.  
  • Call 877-823-2378 and complete the automated attendance verification process.

The VA prorates payments for partial months of school. As an example; if school begins August 20th the first payment should be for August 20th to August 31st or 11 days of school. The payment for August would be about 1/3 of the full monthly payment amount.