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How to Apply for the GI Bill and Other Education Benefits

Find out how to apply for VA education benefits as a Veteran, Servicemember, or qualified family member.

How do I prepare before starting my application?

Note: To apply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (also called Chapter 31) or educational and career counseling (also called Chapter 36) benefits and services, you’ll need to use a different application.

Find out how to apply for Vocational Rehab and Employment.
Learn more about educational and career counseling.

What documents and information do I need to apply?

  • Social Security number
  • Bank account direct deposit information
  • Education and military history
  • Basic information about the school or training facility you want to attend or are attending now

You can also apply:

By mail

Call 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (ET), to request that we send the application to you. Fill it out and mail it to the VA regional claims processing office that’s in the same location as your school.
See a list of regional claims processing offices.

In person

Go to a VA regional benefit office and have a VA employee help you.
Find a VA regional benefit office near you.

Work with your school’s certifying official. This person is usually in the Registrar or Financial Aid office at the school.

With the help of a trained professional

You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for education benefits.
Get help filing your claim.

What happens after I apply?

Find out what happens after you apply.

You can’t make changes to your application, but if you have questions about VA education benefits, please call 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (ET).

If we’ve asked you for documents, please upload them through the GI Bill website. Go to the GI Bill Website

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

30 days Average time to process education claims