Important Information & Press Releases

 

February 04, 2014                                                        

New Online GI Bill® Comparison Tool Available
Will Help Users of Post-9/11 GI Bill Become More Informed Consumers   
 
WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs launched today an online GI Bill® Comparison Tool to make it easier for Veterans, Servicemembers and dependents to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits and learn more about VA's approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country.
 
"We are pleased that Post-9/11 Veterans are taking advantage of this significant benefit program," said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. "The new GI Bill® Comparison Tool will help future beneficiaries as they make decisions about what education or training program best fits their needs."
 
The GI Bill® Comparison Tool provides key information about college affordability and brings together information from more than 17 different online sources and three federal agencies, including the number of students receiving VA education benefits at each school.   
 
The GI Bill® Comparison Tool is one item in a series of resources VA is launching in response to President Obama's Executive Order 13607, which directs agencies to implement and promote "Principles of Excellence" for education institutions that interact with Veterans, Servicemembers and their families; and to ensure beneficiaries have the information they need to make educated choices about VA education benefits and approved programs. Recently, VA also instituted a GI Bill® online complaint system, designed to collect feedback from Veterans, Servicemembers and their families who are experiencing problems with educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and Veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the DoD Military Tuition Assistance Program.
 
The executive order, signed April 27, 2012, directs federal agencies to provide meaningful cost and quality information on schools, prevent deceptive recruiting practices and provide high-quality academic and student support services.  VA works closely with partner institutions to ensure the needs of GI Bill beneficiaries are met.  More than 5,000 education institutions have agreed to the Principles of Excellence. 
 
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008.  In general, Veterans and Servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible.  Since 2009, VA has distributed over $30 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to more than one million Veterans, Servicemembers and their families, and to the universities, colleges and trade schools they attend. 
 
The GI Bill® Comparison Tool can be found at: http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/comparison.  
 
 
January 30, 2014
New Online Complaint System Empowers Students, Strengthens Enforcement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education and Justice, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission announced today the launch of a new online complaint system designed to collect feedback from veterans, service members and their families who are experiencing problems with educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and veterans educational benefits programs, including benefits programs provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the DoD Military Tuition Assistance Program.
The centralized online reporting system is designed for veterans, service members and eligible dependents to report negative experiences with educational institutions; and gives the federal government the information needed to identify and address unfair, deceptive, and misleading practices and ensure high quality academic and student support services are available for veterans, service members, and their families.
“The online complaint system empowers veterans and their dependents and provides them a direct line to VA and our partner agencies,” said Allison A. Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs. “The feedback we receive from veterans, service members and their families will help us strengthen enforcement of the ‘Principles of Excellence’ for institutions of higher learning serving veterans and their families to ensure students are receiving the education benefits they have earned and deserve.”
"Our service members and their families now have an easier and efficient way to provide feedback on their civilian educational experiences, which will ensure we have the right information to identify and address any negative practices," said Jessica Wright, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Students can submit a complaint if they believe their school is failing to follow the Principles of Excellence, (i.e. unfair recruiting practices, credit transfer or change in degree requirements) through the centralized online reporting system accessed via the Department of Defense and GI Bill websites. When feedback is received, agencies will contact the school on behalf of the student and work toward a resolution. Complaints and their resolution will be forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Sentinel Network, accessible by over 650 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for use in enhancing and coordinating law enforcement investigations.
Executive Order 13607, signed April 27, 2012, addresses reports of unfair, deceptive or misleading behavior toward Veterans, service members and their families pursuing higher education and directs agencies to establish, implement and promote compliance with “Principles of Excellence” for educational institutions receiving funding from Federal military and veterans educational benefits programs for America’s veterans, service members and eligible dependents, including preventing abusive and deceptive recruiting practices. The new online complaint system is one of a range of tools being implemented by the federal government to ensure that service members, veterans and eligible dependents have access to meaningful information about the cost and quality of educational institutions.

 

November 21, 2013 

FRAUD ALERT: 
Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Call Center or GI Bill Call Center. A marketing company has established two fraudulent numbers that differ from the two official VA call center numbers by one digit. If the fraudulent number is dialed by mistake, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain personal and financial information, including credit card information, from the caller. The answering party may even transfer the caller to the VA after the caller’s information is obtained. Note that VA will never ask you for a credit card number or banking information over the phone. Before giving personal sensitive information over the phone make sure you know who you are taking to.

The numbers to be avoided are:
800-872-1000 (the VA National Call Center number is 800-827-1000)
 
888-442-4511 (the VA GI Bill Call Center number is 888-442-4551)

VA has notified law enforcement authorities to address this situation, and will provide additional information and guidance as necessary.
 
 
March 2, 2012 1:45 PM

Direct Deposit Now Available for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Recipients

If you receive DEA you can now sign up to have your benefits delivered via direct deposit.* To sign up for direct deposit you will need to know the type of
account (checking or savings) you want your direct deposit sent to, your bank’s 9-digit routing number, and your account number.

If you don’t know your routing and/or account number, contact your bank for the information. Once you have your account type, routing number, and account number, you can sign up for direct deposit by:

  • Calling the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-GI-Bill-1 (1-888-442-4551)
  • Completing the direct deposit application located here (you should select “Education” under Type of Benefit) and mailing it to:

    Department of Veterans Affairs
    125 S. Main Street, Suite B
    Muskogee OK 74401-7004

    *Direct deposit is only available for beneficiaries with a U.S. mailing address.

For access to all VA News Releases, visit http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/.  

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)