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Veterans have additional training benefitsVeterans have additional training benefits

The Montgomery G.I. Bill and the new G.I. Bill are just two of many available to veterans. Like the Montgomery G.I. Bill, lesser known programs may want to be exhausted before switching to the new G.I. Bill so as not to lose out on free money. As you will see, while there is somewhat of a foundation of each of these programs to the Montgomery G.I. Bill, they each have their own stipulations that, unless known to the user, can complicate the flow of free money.

Like the Montgomery G.I. Bill, flight training with the following programs must take place at an institute of higher learning, or a school associated with such. Fees will be reimbursed up to 100 percent, including up to $2,000 per test.

By providing links to these programs to your veteran students (or dependents), they’ll be able to determine if they meet all of the eligibility requirements for the following programs.

Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA/Chapter 35)
Provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

  • Type of training—Only approved for an institute of higher learning. However, flight schools who are affiliated with a college or university can still provide the flight training portion of the student’s degree/certificate program. This program provides up to 45 months of benefits.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP/Chapter 1607)
This is a new Department of Defense program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and the Army and Air National Guard Reserve called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency as declared by the president or Congress. This new program makes reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after Sept. 11, 2001, either eligible for education benefits or increased benefits.

  • Type of training:
    • Part 141 approved
    • Commercial training for rotary and/or fixed wing.
    • Instrument, commercial, multi-engine, CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP.
  • Additional limitations:
    • Must have private pilot certificate and valid medical.
    • 60 percent will be reimbursed for vocational flight school.
    • Generally 36 to 48 months of benefits- review details.

The Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program and The Educational Assistance Pilot Program (VEAP/Chapter 32)
This program is available for those who first entered active duty between Jan. 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985, and elected to make contributions from their military pay to participate in this education benefit program.

  • Type of training:
    • Part 141 approved
    • Commercial training for rotary and/or fixed wing.
    • Instrument, commercial, multi-engine, CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP.
  • Additional limitations:
    • Must have private pilot certificate and valid medical.
    • While contributions are basically matched on a $2 for $1 basis, veterans must contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly to determine the amount of funding available based on their actual contributions.
    • Generally 36 to 48 months of benefits allowed - review details.

National Call to Service (NCS)
This is an incentive program that requires a participant to perform a period of national service to be eligible for benefits. Individuals who participate in this new program have a choice of one of the following incentives:

  • Cash bonus of $5,000, able to use freely for flight training.
  • Repayment of a qualifying student loan not to exceed $18,000, which could have been incurred at a college or university for affiliated flight schools providing a portion of the student’s degree/certificate program.
  • Entitlement to flight training under the MGIB-AD/Chapter 30 benefits for 12 months.
  • Entitlement to flight training under the MGIB-AD/Chapter 30 equal to 50 percent for 36 months.

Coordination with Montgomery G.I. Bill Benefits:

  • NCS participants are not entitled to additional assistance under MGIB-SR/Chapter 1606 or MGIB-AD/Chapter 30.
  • If the NCS participant has eligibility under either Chapter 1606 or Chapter 30, he or she may be paid the amount of Chapter 1606 or Chapter 30 benefits minus any amounts paid under the NCS program.

While sorting through the red tape can be frustrating, and not every school is eligible to participate, it’s clear that service members represent a large potential market, and exploring that is worth the time.

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