Apply for Education Benefits

Who Should Read This

Servicemembers and Veterans seeking education and training opportunities

How long does a decision take?

The time it takes to process your claim depends on your regional office. There are four regional claims processing centers, and it varies region by region. You can use VA’s interactive map to find out how quickly your regional office processes claims.

What are the steps?

  1. Research
    • Learn about schools offering VA-approved programs by using the GI Bill Comparison Tool.
    • Decide which school is best for you.
    • You may apply for the school or schools you choose before you apply for benefits.
  2. Gather Your Documents

    The following documents will help VA process your claim:

    • DD214 (Member 4), discharge or separation papers, for all periods of active-duty service, excluding active duty for training
    • DD2384, Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE), which you can get through your Reserve unit
    • Orders, if activated from the Guard or the Reserves
  3. Apply

    You have four options for filing your claim:

    • Apply online using eBenefits.
    • Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you.
    • Work with your school’s VA certifying official. This person is usually in the Registrar or Financial Aid office at the school of your choice.
    • Call 888-442-4551 to have the application mailed to you. After you complete it, mail it to your VA regional claims processing office.
  4. VA Review

    You can track the status of your application on eBenefits.