GI BILL for Veterans - What you wish you knew before utilizing it
When you have served your nation for a while and are beginning to contemplate retirement, you should also give some thought to the GI Bill and what you might do to better yourself before leaving the military.
I've picked up a few pointers and suggestions from talking to other people who have been in the military before, such as living with your parents so you can save as much money as possible and assist them with their bills, etc. This post is based on my own experiences, and I really hope that it can be of assistance to you.
Now listen to me ...
Get rid of your pride first before venturing out into the world. Nobody cares. I am aware that we want to be tough competitors when we are in the game, but once you get out of the game, nobody cares. You absolutely must get checked out by a doctor. When we move out into the world, we frequently start to look down on folks who claim VA benefits but appear to be doing fine. Your filing a claim with the VA won't result in the reduction or elimination of benefits for anyone else. That was a misconception of mine in the past, but now I know better. You are going to find out that in a few years you are going to encounter people from different branches who have an easy MOS/Rate and a high disability rate, and here you are with no rating. This is something that you are going to discover more and more about. That's nothing more than a clever MF. They are gaining some financial ground. It makes no difference if you went on deployment or accomplished anything else during your enlistment. You entered the Service in its whole, and you will be leaving it in its entirety.
You might think that everything is fine, but after your posterior is put through the MRI machine, you might find out that you have degenerative joint disease. Damn, I had no idea I had that. I've talked to a lot of guys who claimed they were fine but who, after getting looked out, turned out to have all kinds of problems. Therefore, you should go and see BAS multiple times. Put as much nonsense as you possibly can in your medical record. Have a sore back? Add it. Knees? Add it. Do you ever get headaches? Add. Any pain? Add. Think back to any time you've been physically challenged, even just a little bit; things like boot camps, the treks you had to complete, and runs in boots and come to mind. Put in as much garbage as you possibly can because this is your ONE AND ONLY CHANCE to do so. If there is anything that you didn't add to your service record while you were in it and later make a claim for, you're going to have to fight with the VA to prove that abc disability happened while you were in service, so add it now. Once you get out, whatever you didn't add into your service record while you were in it and later make a claim for, you're going to have The information that is in your service record when you get out makes it quite simple to file a claim for it because it already demonstrates very clearly a connection to your military service. If you try to claim insomnia five years later but there is no indication in your record that you ever experienced it, the VA may refuse your claim, and you will have to put up a battle to try to prove that it occurred when you were serving in the military. Make sense? Next, submit a disability claim to the VA. If you file your claim within 180 to 90 days of receiving your EAS, it will be considered a BDD claim, which stands for "Benefits Delivery at Discharge." (https://www.va.gov/disability/how-to-file-claim/when-to-file/pre-discharge-claim/) When a BDD claim is filed, the VA is able to schedule exams, review service treatment records, and evaluate the claim before the service member leaves active duty. This enables the VA to make a determination as quickly as possible, sometimes as soon as the day after the service member leaves active duty.
What exactly does "VA disability" mean? (https://www.va.gov/disability/) Veterans who become ill or injured while serving their country are eligible for disability compensation (pay) from the VA. This compensation comes in the form of a tax-free monthly payment. To provide you with a general sense of the compensation, the following is:
This is a tax-free payment that will be made on the first of every month for the rest of your life. Because of inflation, rates rise on an annual basis, and it is anticipated that they will rise by 8.9% in 2023. The rates listed above are the current rates for veterans in 2022. If you have a spouse or a kid, you are eligible for additional benefits.
Once you get a VA rating of at least 10%, you will be able to. Submit an application to the VA for benefits under Chapter 31, generally known as the Veteran Readiness and Employment Program, or VR&E for short. (https://www.va.gov/careers-employment/vocational-rehabilitation/) Veterans with service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap can receive assistance from VR&E in preparing for, finding, and keeping a job through the program. You basically have a meeting with a VA counselor and use your disability rating to argue that with your current qualifications and disabilities, you are unable to get an entry level job in whatever field you are trying to go towards, and why getting a degree in XYZ field will help you find meaningful employment that won't have an impact on your disability. The VA counselor will then decide whether or not to grant you a benefit. Consider this hypothetical scenario: you were given a rating of 20% for both of your knees. Imagine that when you were being evaluated, you stated that you "cannot stand or walk for extended periods of time without experiencing pain." And it's been said that working in the field of information technology can be done while seated. If you are accepted into CH 31, you will receive the same benefits as those provided by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, in addition to a free Apple laptop. They determine how much of the monthly stipend they provide you based on the zip code of the institution you attend. You won't have to touch your GI bill during those four years of using that money to pay for your bachelor's degree.
You can get the same result to earn your master's degree. If that application for your master's degree doesn't get granted, you can use your GI bill instead; even so, after you finish your master's degree, you'll still have two years left.
There is no guarantee that VR&E will improve educational outcomes. It is designed to assist you in acquiring the skills necessary to obtain entry-level job that will not be adversely affected by your impairment. However, you are able to use VR&E to pay for your schooling. All that is required of you is to analyze the ways in which your impairment is stopping you from finding work.
Just keep in mind that after you have utilized your post-9/11 GI bill, it will no longer be available to you. If you previously served in the military and later rejoined, your service record will not be updated, and you will not be eligible for a second GI bill.
If you feel that your pride is too thick and that you don't deserve or want to claim VA (which you do deserve it), log into ebenefits and apply for a COE, which stands for a Certificate of Eligibility (https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/coe). If you decide that your pride is too thick and that you don't deserve or want to claim VA, you do deserve it. You probably don't remember your username or password for ebenefits, so use the "forgot username" feature on the website. After entering your social security number and answering questions to which you already know the answers, you will be given your username. Follow the same steps to reset your password. After that, log in. Applying for a COE should be done as early as possible. The next step is to search for a school that interests you. Check to see whether the school has a veteran service; the vast majority of schools do, and they will be able to assist you with everything I said. My personal opinion is that attending a school that does not provide this is not something I would advocate, but that is just me. They provide a variety of services, including free counseling, free tutoring, and other services. As an additional benefit, part of your MCIs will be converted into credits. Although it's not much, it does assist. You are going to need to present the school with the transcript from MOL for the MCI that you completed in order for them to be able to convert the completed hours into credit hours.