Veterans' Benefits

There are a variety of sources for financial support for veterans, active military, reservists and dependents. Each has its own forms, processes and timetables.

College Fund

Qualifications for the College Fund are established by the military branches. The qualifications are usually based on a critical occupational specialty. The VA does not determine eligibility of this additional benefit.

If you qualify for the College Fund, you do not receive it in one lump-sum payment. Your total College Fund is divided into monthly payments (based on the 36 months of eligibility under the MGIB) that are added to regular MGIB payments. You cannot receive your College Fund money without receiving MGIB benefits. It is an add-on to your MGIB benefit.

Kicker

Currently the VA does not have a way to interface with the US Department of Defense to verify service members who pay the $600.00 additional contribution (kicker). The VA requests each service member who paid this contribution to submit Xeroxed copy of the following:

  • DD Form 2366
  • Copy of LES's - if deductions are payroll deducted
  • DD Form 1131 - Cash Voucher if paid cash in full

These documents provide proof to the VA that the $600.00 was paid and they will process your claim to include this kicker.

The kicker is divided by the number of months of eligibility available under the MGIB or MGIB-Selected Reserve. It is an add-on to your MGIB or MGIB-Selected Reserve benefit.

California Dependents Education Assistance

The dependent child, spouse or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to tuition fee waiver benefits at any campus of the California State University system as well as other public California colleges. To obtain eligibility requirements and assistance in applying for these valuable benefits, please contact your local County Veterans Service Office, your school's veterans office, or call CDVA at (916) 503-8397.

If you are receiving VA Education Benefits under Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance), you are not eligible to receive the California Dependents Education Assistance under Plan A.

The tuition fee waiver benefits provided by this program only cover the Tuition Fee, but not mandatory campus charges. This benefit is applicable to one academic year only and must be renewed each academic year.

Financial Aid

Though receipt of VA benefits is considered in the determination of a veteran student's level of aid, most veteran students do qualify for other forms of financial aid. Individuals should also file the Federal Financial Student Aid Application.

Work Study

All students training under Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35, 1606 and 1607 VA education programs and who have been certified for 3/4 time enrollment or more are eligible to apply for the VA Workstudy Program. Students may work up to 450 hours in a term, and receive $6.25/hour (tax exempt as a VA benefit). Please check with local campus veterans affairs coordinators for more information.

Taxes

Veterans benefits are NOT taxable and, therefore, should not be reported to the IRS.

Tuition Assistance

The VA Office does not process Tuition Assistance reimbursements. For reservists, assistance with Tuition Assistance applications, policies, and procedures are provided through the individual's reserve unit education service office.