Face-to-face Courses and Impact to VA Education Benefits
Update from Jason Kovarik, Military and Veterans Benefits Coordinator
As we prepare for the Spring Term beginning on April 6, I wanted to provide clarity on possible impacts to your VA Education benefits based on recent updates.
All our degree programs are approved for both online and classroom instruction by the NH State Approving Authority Office. The passage of Senate Bill 3503 om March 21 now allows the VA to continue to pay full housing or other stipends to students who are enrolled in a face-to-face or hybrid class, even if the school conducts that class online for the entire term due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Key Points for Students.
- For Post 9/11 GI Bill® beneficiaries, in order to receive maximum housing stipend, you must be enrolled full time and be enrolled in at least one face-to-face or hybrid class during the term.
- If you are enrolled in a face-to-face or hybrid class for the 2020 Spring, Summer, or Fall terms, but the College operates the class online due to the COVID-19 emergency, you will receive the full benefit.
- If you are full-time and enrolled in all online classes, you will receive the online rate (approximately $850/ full month).
- If you become ill during your term and are unable to continue classes, you must notify the College’s Veterans Office immediately. This is to avoid possible VA recoupment of stipends in the future.
- The VA is shifting to a paperless environment as much as possible.
Veterans & Family Members with VBA Overpayment
If you are affected by the COVID-19 (CORONA VIRUS), have a VBA benefit debt and need temporary financial relief, please contact DMC at 1-800-827-0648 to request assistance.
Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the GI Bill program is working to increase capabilities for a paperless environment as much as possible. Therefore, all incoming mail must be submitted to VA electronically either through https://www.va.gov or through “Ask a Question” https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/.
We’re asking GI Bill students to ensure VA has a current email address on file for you. This will help ensure the VA can contact you with important updates to your education benefits. You can update your email address by submitting a request through the “Ask a Question” link https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/. You can also contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or 001-918-781-5678 from Overseas, Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm CST to help update your contact information.
If VA Education Service emails you a letter, it will be in an encrypted format to help protect your information. You should expect to receive an email notifying you that either the Muskogee, St. Louis, or Buffalo Regional Processing Office has sent you an encrypted message. The email will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to decrypt the message (you will be presented the option to either register with the system or to use several common log-in credentials, such as your Google account). Please follow the instructions to decrypt and view the message.
If VA does not have an email address for you, your letters will be available upon demand through the “Ask a Question” link https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/ or by calling the Education Call Center. Please allow the VA 15 days after you submit your information to process your submission before requesting a copy of any decision letters.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out or contact the VA Education Call Center at: 1-888-442-4551 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, or submit your questions through https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/.