How to Determine your GI Bill Benefits
using your DD214
The information on your DD214 will help you determine what educational and GI Bill programs you can use to pay for school. Since the DD214 shows your dates of military service and the nature of your discharge from the military, you can use this information with your college's designated veteran advisor to figure out what your options are for both the GI Bill and state-sponsored education benefits.
What GI Bill Programs Do I Qualify For?
Since the DD214 shows the dates that you served, you can use this information to figure out which program you qualify for under the GI Bill. You may find that you qualify for more than one program, depending on your enlistment date and date of separation. For many of today's retired, separated, or active duty military students there are two basic options:
- The Montgomery GI Bill
- The Post 9/11 GI Bill
If you signed up for military service and registered for the Montgomery GI Bill, you may have the option to switch to the Post 9-11 GI Bill instead, depending on the dates of your military service and how long you were on active duty. Using your DD214 you can determine what your options are at the official GI Bill website www.gibill.va.gov
How Much Do I Qualify For?
If you are trying to figure out how much financial help you qualify for under the GI Bill, the DD214 can help you do that as well. The total amount of benefits are calculated based on the length of time you spent as a service member. Compare the dates of service listed on your DD214 with the rules of the Post 9-11 GI Bill:
- Veterans are eligible if they served at least 90 days of what the VA calls "aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001." Also eligible--those discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
- If you have served at least 36 months, you are eligible for 100% of the maximum benefit payable.
- If you have served between 18 and 24 months, you are eligible for 70% of the maximum benefit payable.
The dates on your DD214 will show exactly how long you served in the military. You can use those numbers to see what you are eligible for in terms of financial assistance through the GI Bill.
Other Educational Benefits Programs
In addition to the GI Bill, there are also various educational benefits programs that are state-specific, or that are offered through veterans groups. One good example is the Hazelwood Act, which is administered by the Texas Veterans Commission. This program requires the veteran to prove:
- That they were a resident of the state at the time of enlistment.
- That they have served over 180 of active duty service.
- That they have been discharged honorably, or have a general, under honorable conditions discharge.
The DD214 is required as part of the application process for the Hazelwood Act. There many other state-run educational benefits programs that will ask for a DD214 in addition to other mandatory paperwork.
It's important to replace a missing or lost DD214 right away—you won't be able to officially certify your military status, the nature of your discharge or the length of service without it. Rest assured, you will get to use your benefits eventually once you've gotten a replacement DD214; the start of your new academic career could be delayed depending on when you request a replacement copy and when it arrives. Apply early and don't miss your school's deadlines for financial aid paperwork or other requirements.
Mail or fax signed and dated DD214 replacement requests to the National Archives' National Personnel Record Center:
NPRC Fax Number:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Before you contact the NPRC, carefully read the instructions found at the NPRC official site and follow them exactly.
- Certificate of Eligibility
- Employment Benefits
- VA Health Care Beneifts
- Enlisting in the National Guard or Reserves
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