Veterans, the GI Bill (Ch 30 and 33), and Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch 31)

MusicDOc124

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If you are a veteran, this pertains to you, and if not you for whatever reason, likely someone you have served with/know, and will be good to pass on.

I have seen information posted within threads about Ch 31 benefits, or Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab for short), as well as both GI Bills, but some are a few years old, dated, or a quick mention as a subtopic for other situations, in which you have to read to get snippets of info about it. This thread is intended to be the topic, and hopefully stickied (or whatever the word is) so that it is more easily found, and in which all of the information that I can think of is in one spot.

That said....

Upon separation there are multiple ways to fund schooling that are service related (disregard future service, i.e. HPSP/HSCP), be that undergrad, grad, or professional school. We know these as the Montgomery GI Bill (Ch 30, referred to this as Ch 30 hereafter) and the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Ch 33, referred to as "the GI Bill" hereafter). Each has there pros and cons, but one program that not many know about is Voc Rehab (Ch 31 benefits), which also has its pros and cons.

I have personally used both the GI Bill and Voc Rehab, but not Ch 30 benefits, but there is some information that I know about Ch 30 that should be known as well. I will start with the info I have on Ch 30.

Ch 30 benefits are allotted for up to 36 months with a flat rate stipend to my knowledge. Something I have learned about is that if you are utilizing Ch 30, and COMPLETELY EXHAUST (read: 0 days left of Ch 30 benefits - I say again, 0), you then quality for an addition 12 months of GI Bill (read: Post-9-11). This gives you a total of 48 months of benefits. If you have even 1 day left of the Ch 30 benefits, and you switch to the GI Bill, you DO NOT receive an additional 12 months of GI Bill, you simply switch to the GI Bill for the remanded of the initial allotted 36 months (in this example, 1 day). If you have been using the Ch 30 benefits and are considering switching, consider how far along in the program you are at the time. If you have any questions, please PM me and I will answer to the best of my ability.

The GI Bill is what most of us utilize upon returning to school after service. This pays up to 100% of the instate rates, or a capped around for private schools, and provides BAH and up to $1000/yr in books/supplies. With this program, you receive up to 36 months of benefit (or 12 if using this is the additional time after exhausting Ch 30). A little known factoid: Once you completely exhaust the GI Bill, you SHOULD receive the $1200 back that you paid into it. If you did the buy-up program, once the GI Bill is exhausted, you may be able to continue for a prescribed about of time or funds - this I'm not 100% sure on, but can refer you to the person who is doing this - and continue on with a similar situation of the GI Bill with what you essential "bought-up" on. HOWEVER, even if you use all but even 1 day... if you make the switch to Voc rehab (next paragraph), you will NOT get the $1200 back. With that said, switching to voc rehab WITH at least 1 day left allows you to elect the BAH rate instead of the regular stipend of Voc Rehab. The majority of the time, this outweighs the "loss" of the $1200 because long term you will get more than $1200 back by comparison. Each individual situation is different though and depends on CoL of the school area/zip, and how many dependents you have. For instance, someone in a LOW CoL area with like 5 dependents may get more out of the standard stipend than they will with BAH.

Now, onto the almost unknown program: Voc Rehab. The last few sentences alluded to some information, but anyway, Voc Rehab can be used for quite a few different things, but I will speak only for education because that is where my experience with it lies, and what the majority of us on this forum are pursing. Voc Rehabs goal is to help veterans obtain gainful, "entry-level" employment. You must apply for Voc Rehab through the VONAPP system, and its main basic requirement is a 10% VA disability rating. Voc Rehab is VERY similar to the GI Bill, but does have some little, but major, differences. 1) Voc Rehab provides 48 months of benefits (minus what you may have used of the GI Bill). 2) Voc Rehab pays 100% of tuition and fees with no cap, as opposed to the GI Bill, which caps private schools and pays "up to" 100% of an in-state rate of tuition. This program also continues to provide you with medical and dental benefits through the VA for the duration of the program. Depending on the cost, however, there are thresholds of who needs to approve the case. 3) If you switched from the GI Bill (thus have time left from the original 36 months), you can still qualify for BAH (you must opt for this), but if you have exhausted the GI Bill before applying for/switching to Voc Rehab, you receive the flat-rate stipend, which is significantly lower than the BAH rates for most places (see end of previous paragraph). 4) All books and required supplied (i.e. medical equipment, laptop, printer, books, etc) are covered whether the cost is $100 or $5000, opposed to the limit of $1000 from the GI Bill for books only (which is provided based on the number of credits you are registered for. 5) Voc Rehab is EXTENDABLE, but this is case-by-case, it depends on how much longer is needed, and it depends on the type of disabilities you are rated with, and somewhat up to the discretion of the counselor that you will see. To be able to apply for extended benefits, you must be of "serious employment handicap," or SEH for short, or something to that effect as determined by your record, counselor, and affect the injuries have on your potential field to my knowledge.



**There is more info available on what is provided, but I will not list any more on here due length.



Please note, again, this is to obtain entry level employment and depends on your current degree level (or lack of), current employment, etc. What I mean here is that if you are a successful lawyer with stability and disabilities that do not necessarily inhibit you from continuing on as a lawyer, they will probably not approve your request. On the other hand, maybe you were a police officer after getting out, but have a SERVICE CONNECTED, lets say, knee injury which has progressively gotten worse and made it difficult to do your job, you stand a good chance for being approved for the program (though final approval based on goals depends on other factors in addition).

It is NOT like the GI Bill that you can stop if you want, then continue, switch fields, get a side job for extra money, change majors, or further you into a new career where your current career is suitable already on your own. Once you switch to Voc Rehab, it can be difficult to change the pathway you signed off in many cases. With Voc Rehab, you are committed to the plan you discussed and signed off with the counselor.


It is possible to use Voc Rehab to pay for medical/dental/pharmacy/etc school. It is by no means a guarantee, but it is quite possible.


Feel free to post or PM me if you have any additional information, different experiences with any of these programs, or questions. I will get back to you as timely as possible, but do realize I do not come on here every day, though I do receive email notifications of messages, so I will do my best. As I stated, this is what I have learned from personal experience and observations of others utilization said programs.


SIDE NOTE:

There is another HPSP program out there, and this one is through the VA with similar coverage of tuition/supplies, and a minimum payback (to the VA) of 2-3 years. The links are right below this paragraph.

Applications and coverage for medical students/medical school BEGINS in FY2020.

This program is ALREADY in place for BSN, MSN (particularly mental health), and for PA.

(under the "scholarships" tab on the left as you scroll - it's just under the already-selected "education" tab)




Edited 21 July 2019.
 
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xffan624

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If you are a veteran, this pertains to you, and if not you for whatever reason, likely someone you have served with/know, and will be good to pass on.

I have seen information posted within threads about Ch 31 benefits, or Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab for short), as well as both GI Bills, but some are a few years old, dated, or a quick mention as a subtopic for other situations, in which you have to read to get snippets of info about it. This thread is intended to be the topic, and hopefully stickied (or whatever the word is) so that it is more easily found, and in which all of the information that I can think of is in one spot.

That said....

Upon separation there are multiple ways to fund schooling that are service related (disregard future service, i.e. HPSP/HSCP), be that undergrad, grad, or professional school. We know these as the Montgomery GI Bill (Ch 30, referred to this as Ch 30 hereafter) and the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Ch 33, referred to as "the GI Bill" hereafter). Each has there pros and cons, but one program that not many know about is Voc Rehab (Ch 31 benefits), which also has its pros and cons.

I have personally used both the GI Bill and Voc Rehab, but not Ch 30 benefits, but there is some information that I know about Ch 30 that should be known as well. I will start with the info I have on Ch 30.

Ch 30 benefits are allotted for up to 36 months with a flat rate stipend to my knowledge. Something I have learned about is that if you are utilizing Ch 30, and COMPLETELY EXHAUST (read: 0 days left of Ch 30 benefits - I say again, 0), you then quality for an addition 12 months of GI Bill (read: Post-9-11). This gives you a total of 48 months of benefits. If you have even 1 day left of the Ch 30 benefits, and you switch to the GI Bill, you DO NOT receive an additional 12 months of GI Bill, you simply switch to the GI Bill for the remanded of the initial allotted 36 months (in this example, 1 day). If you have been using the Ch 30 benefits and are considering switching, consider how far along in the program you are at the time. If you have any questions, please PM me and I will answer to the best of my ability.

The GI Bill is what most of us utilize upon returning to school after service. This pays up to 100% of the instate rates, or a capped around for private schools, and provides BAH and up to $1000/yr in books/supplies. With this program, you receive up to 36 months of benefit (or 12 if using this is the additional time after exhausting Ch 30). A little known factoid: Once you completely exhaust the GI Bill, you SHOULD receive the $1200 back that you paid into it. If you did the buy-up program, once the GI Bill is exhausted, you may be able to continue for a prescribed about of time or funds - this I'm not 100% sure on, but can refer you to the person who is doing this - and continue on with a similar situation of the GI Bill with what you essential "bought-up" on.

Now, onto the almost unknown program: Voc Rehab. Voc Rehab can be used for quite a few different things, but I will speak only for education because that is where my experience with it lies. Voc Rehabs goal is to help veterans obtain gainful, entry-level employment. You must apply for Voc Rehab through the VONAPP system, and its main basic requirement is a 10% VA disability rating, though I believe that is for special cases, and may generally need to be at 20%. Voc Rehab is VERY similar to the GI Bill, but does have some little, but major, differences. 1) Voc Rehab provides 48 months of benefits (minus what you have used of the GI Bill). 2) Voc Rehab pays 100% of tuition and fees with no cap, as opposed to the GI Bill, which caps private schools and pays "up to" 100% of an in-state rate of tuition. This program also continues to provide you with medical and dental benefits through the VA for the duration of the program. 3) If you switched from the GI Bill (thus have time left from the original 36 months), you can still qualify for BAH (you must opt for this), but if you have exhausted the GI Bill before applying for/switching to Voc Rehab, you receive the flat-rate stipend, which is significantly lower than the BAH rates. 4) All books and required supplied (i.e. medical equipment, laptop, printer, books, etc) are covered whether the cost is $100 or $5000, opposing a limit of $1000 from the GI Bill for books only. 5) Voc Rehab is EXTENDABLE, but this is case-by-case, it depends on how much longer is needed, and it depends on the type of disabilities you are rated with, and somewhat up to the discretion of the counselor that you will see. To be able to apply for extended benefits, you must be of "serious employment handicap" or something to that effect as determined by your record, counselor, and affect the injuries have on your potential field to my knowledge.



**There is more info available on what is provided, but I will not list any more on here due length.



Please note, again, this is to obtain entry level employment and depends on your current degree level, current employment, etc. What I mean here is that if you are a successful lawyer with stability and disabilities that do not necessarily inhibit you from continuing on as a lawyer, they will probably not approve your request.

It is NOT like the GI Bill that you can stop if you want, then continue, switch fields, get a side job for extra money, change majors, or further you into a new career where your current career is suitable already. Once you switch to Voc Rehab, you cannot switch back, and it can be difficult to change the pathway you signed off. With Voc Rehab, you are committed to the plan you discussed and signed off with the counselor. If you stop and leave, you do not get your GI Bill back, and it can be difficult to restart Voc Rehab again if you leave the program.

To apply to Voc Rehab, I believe you must already have an acceptance where you will be going because the plans are often specific, in which a particular school will even be listed. I believe you can change schools, but not the overall pathway (at least not easily, by any means). What does this mean? This means, do not apply unless you are accepted somewhere already so that you can show proof of your program of study. BE SURE this is the field you want to go into if you have to have remaining GI Bill, because you can switch fields with that if you decide medicine is not for you. This ties into waiting for an acceptance, because if approved, then no acceptance, you switched to Voc Rehab and are not deviating from the plan.

With all of that said, it is possible to use Voc Rehab to pay for medical/dental/pharmacy/etc school. You just have to make sure you qualify, be sure that you have a plan, and understand how it works before applying/switching.


Feel free to post or PM me if you have any additional information, different experiences with any of these programs, or questions. I will get back to you as timely as possible, but do realize I do not come on here every day, though I do receive email notifications of messages, so I will do my best. As I stated, this is what I have learned from personal experience and observations of others utilization said programs.
Great post summarizing everything. Using Voc rehab right now. It's been a great program (even got me a laptop when mine broke). My understanding is a requirement of 20% disability. You also have to be unemployed and qualify for the program.
 
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MusicDOc124

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xffan,

20% is the general %, but in certain cases, you can apply with 10% is my understanding. I don't believe you have to be unemployed, but if you are employed, your disability needs to be interfering with work in some way to where you need to advance to another position or change fields to lay off on the injury/disability. This is just my understanding, though.

Where do you go to medical school?
 
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What if your spouse is working? Did you use the GI Bill for a couple years and then switch to voc rehab?

I'm currently using the GI bill but will only have about 12 months left when I start med school. Thoughts on how to utilize benefits the best?
 
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These programs have nothing to do with spouses. I used the GI Bill for 12-14 months before switching to Voc Rehab.

Are you accepted to medical school already and do you have a VA rating of 20% or higher? You need to be at 20% or higher to even apply (10% for extreme or special cases), and approval will be based on your VA record with what ailments caused your rating.

Assuming you are not working, or can explain how your ailments affect you currently at work, and that you can explain to the counselor that becoming a physician is entry-level and gainful, utilizing Voc Rehab would be your best option. If you received that, you will get your remaining 12 months, + 12 more months (for a total of 48 months) of benefits. This will cover you until you're partially through your M3 year. You could potentially receive coverage for all of M3 as well and M4, but again, this depends on your ailments and the counselor you are assigned to on whether your ailments call for extended benefits.

If you PM me more info, I can go into a little more detail without you airing your life in the open!
 

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So do you recommend starting with Ch 30 and then switching to Ch 31 (assuming no disability)? What are the pro's and con's of such a choice? Does Ch 30 provide a smaller payment/stipend?
 

xffan624

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xffan,

20% is the general %, but in certain cases, you can apply with 10% is my understanding. I don't believe you have to be unemployed, but if you are employed, your disability needs to be interfering with work in some way to where you need to advance to another position or change fields to lay off on the injury/disability. This is just my understanding, though.

Where do you go to medical school?
Going to USF right now. It's not a guarantee to get enrolled in the program, but it definitely helps sell your case if you're already in medical school when you apply for vocational rehab (path of least resistance).

I had 40% when I applied. I started with my GI Bill (didn't even have my disability rating when I started school), but soon saw the writing on the wall that the benefits would run out before school was done, so I applied for vocational rehab after the first year.

If you do use the GI bill prior to vocational rehab, make sure to apply prior to the GI benefits running out. If the GI bill benefits run out, you can't qualify for the additional living expenses under vocational rehab. As long as you start the program with GI bill benefits then you can qualify for the additional living expenses.
 
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So do you recommend starting with Ch 30 and then switching to Ch 31 (assuming no disability)? What are the pro's and con's of such a choice? Does Ch 30 provide a smaller payment/stipend?
It's hard to say because every situation is different. The only times that I have seen Ch 30 as being more beneficial than Post-9/11 GI Bill is when someone is going to a low-tuition community college, especially if on scholarship of some sort, in a low cost-of-living area. Ch 30 pays about $1700-$1800/month to my knowledge at most. If you live somewhere cheap and going to community college free, this would stay in your pocket and be larger than the sum of the low cost of living allowance and tuition reimbursement.

If you're paying for out-of-state, expensive in-state, or private, especially in a higher cost area, or even average cost area, USUALLY the Post-9/11 GI Bill will be more beneficial.

Keep in mind again, this is highly based on where you live/go to school.




Going to USF right now. It's not a guarantee to get enrolled in the program, but it definitely helps sell your case if you're already in medical school when you apply for vocational rehab (path of least resistance).

I had 40% when I applied. I started with my GI Bill (didn't even have my disability rating when I started school), but soon saw the writing on the wall that the benefits would run out before school was done, so I applied for vocational rehab after the first year.

If you do use the GI bill prior to vocational rehab, make sure to apply prior to the GI benefits running out. If the GI bill benefits run out, you can't qualify for the additional living expenses under vocational rehab. As long as you start the program with GI bill benefits then you can qualify for the additional living expenses.
I know it's not a guarantee. I was actually approved for PA school at first, but managed to change my path once I decided to change and was accepted to medical school. I've already got the full living stipend coming in through VR&E at the Post-9-11 rate. I'm all set.

I posted this so others will know what I did not for the first year or 2 leading to this point.

Is USF on the Gulf Coast or Atlantic Coast? I'll be in FL as well on the Gulf side.
 
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MrLogan13

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I'm rated at 50%. I've exhausted my Ch. 33 benefits, but I just applied to VR&E. Let's see what happens. I'm hoping they'll extend my benefits and approve my plan. It'd help a ton with med school debt.
 
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bryce

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Excellent information. Thanks guys.
 

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A few things to add from someone who was denied VocRehab:

  • You must have enough GI Bill benefits to cover the entirety of the vocational education to be approved. Ch 31 doesn't cover partial completion I.e. if you have 24 months remaining, they will approve a 2 year PA school but not a 4 year MD. (save your benefits for med school folks)
  • You currently must be unable to find suitable employment for you background. Remember, Ch 31 is a vocational program, not an educational program. I.e. For newly minted Petroleum Engineering BS, VocRehab won't put you through med school if you can easily get an engineering job
 
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A few things to add from someone who was denied VocRehab:

  • You must have enough GI Bill benefits to cover the entirety of the vocational education to be approved. Ch 31 doesn't cover partial completion I.e. if you have 24 months remaining, they will approve a 2 year PA school but not a 4 year MD. (save your benefits for med school folks)
  • You currently must be unable to find suitable employment for you background. Remember, Ch 31 is a vocational program, not an educational program. I.e. For newly minted Petroleum Engineering BS, VocRehab won't put you through med school if you can easily get an engineering job
Actually, there is a catch with point 1; Using your example of having 24 months remaining and approving PA school, but not a 4-year MD or DO is only a half-truth because this depends on the person (and I don't mean playing favorites). There is a term, something along the lines of "severe employment handicap" that allows for benefits beyond the cap. If your injuries/ailments allow for the "code," you can, in fact, receive funding for schooling beyond the 48 month mark. With that said, GI Bill is 36 months, Voc Rehab is 48, so you're already getting an additional 12, which would cover roughly 3 of the 4 years from this example, and is roughly 12 months beyond covering PA school. Also note: PA school is year round, med school is not, so those saved summer months will go to the tail end, and you will be maybe 6 months shy of completely covering medical school.

Point 2 is on point, though.
 

MrLogan13

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^ He's correct, the counselor can approve you to receive benefits beyond the 48 month limit.
 
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familyaerospace

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I am working with VR and depending on the counselor they might or might not pay for tuition and it might be state based.

I have a friend who is getting his MEd paid for. He is mildly autistic and lives in Kansas.

I am in Georgia. I had one counselor said I am not eligible (I am autistic and epileptic) because it only pays for undergrad and only in specific degrees up to 5K. I had another that stated that they won't pay for anything at all period. Another stated they would pay for medical school expenses completely for four years. It really seems to be based on the counselor and their boss. I have been working with VR since 2008.
 

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What about using any of the above for residency? I will soon be entering a PGY-2 position on the civilian sector and my commission resigned. Thanks!
 
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I believe it MAY be possible. It's all situation dependent. If you have full or most benefit remaining, it could work to aid with housing and such while waiting to obtain suitable employment (read: become an attending), but for those of us or are using the full benefit for school, especially if it was extended to cover until the end, that is considered our suitable employment, but as I said, ever situation is different and I personally have not attempted that because I haven't started med school yet - just have my acceptance in hand.

If anyone has used it for/during residency, please post!

edit: this is regarding Voc Rehab. GI Bill and Post 9/11 are based off of attending school whereas residency is a job. So I don't believe the latter two would work (but don't quote me!), however Voc Rehab could potentially work. If you send me a message, I can explain what I mean.
 

xffan624

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I believe it MAY be possible. It's all situation dependent. If you have full or most benefit remaining, it could work to aid with housing and such while waiting to obtain suitable employment (read: become an attending), but for those of us or are using the full benefit for school, especially if it was extended to cover until the end, that is considered our suitable employment, but as I said, ever situation is different and I personally have not attempted that because I haven't started med school yet - just have my acceptance in hand.

If anyone has used it for/during residency, please post!

edit: this is regarding Voc Rehab. GI Bill and Post 9/11 are based off of attending school whereas residency is a job. So I don't believe the latter two would work (but don't quote me!), however Voc Rehab could potentially work. If you send me a message, I can explain what I mean.
Yeah for me, residency is considered my employment as well. They will only cover me until then. Which is still pretty awesome.

Can't 9/11 GI bill be used for residency? I remember when I was looking up programs for applications to medical school that there were definitely some residencies listed. Check online and see if your program is on there.
 
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This needs a sticky. I am accepted but only 10%. I started the last of my GI Bill this spring semester (and received my $1200 refund BTW). My Texas Veterans counselor told me I have a shot for VR even with only 10%. Have you not heard of any 10% disabled vets being able to jump on board with VR? I'm trying to remain optimistic...
 
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This needs a sticky. I am accepted but only 10%. I started the last of my GI Bill this spring semester (and received my $1200 refund BTW). My Texas Veterans counselor told me I have a shot for VR even with only 10%. Have you not heard of any 10% disabled vets being able to jump on board with VR? I'm trying to remain optimistic...
I don't know anyones percentages, just that some people receive it and some don't, and that it partially depends on the counselor. If you already have a counselor for VR, and he's saying you have a shot - he's somewhat the deciding factor. I do know that 10% can apply, just certain conditions apply, though I'm vague on what those conditions are. Being 10% I think depends on how severe or how inhibitory the particular injury is. Hopefully if you are approved, you will have at least 1 day left of the GI Bill because then you can receive BAH with VR - otherwise instead of BAH will be a stipend of between $500-$600 (flat rate)!

Good luck and get the application for VR in!
 
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I'm still a little confused on the amount of time you are given to use VOC rehab. Some post say it pays for the entire program and some post say it pays for the portion of education benefit you have left. Can someone clarify?

I'd like to know because I have 3.5 months left on my ch33 benefit and I'm debating if I should use it to cover one of my last 2 undergraduate semesters or save it for when I'm accepted into med school (granted I get accepted of course) and applying for VOC rehab so I can get full BAH.
 
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I'm still a little confused on the amount of time you are given to use VOC rehab. Some post say it pays for the entire program and some post say it pays for the portion of education benefit you have left. Can someone clarify?

I'd like to know because I have 3.5 months left on my ch33 benefit and I'm debating if I should use it to cover one of my last 2 undergraduate semesters or save it for when I'm accepted into med school (granted I get accepted of course) and applying for VOC rehab so I can get full BAH.
Save it. You cannot qualify for Voc Rehab BAH if you don't have remaining GI bill benefits. Plus you can use your GI bill for med school even if you get rejected for voc rehab. Apply as soon as possible for Voc rehab, you don't want to have to take out loans for medical school if you don't have to. The VA will not repay those after you get approved.
 
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Save it. You cannot qualify for Voc Rehab BAH if you don't have remaining GI bill benefits. Plus you can use your GI bill for med school even if you get rejected for voc rehab. Apply as soon as possible for Voc rehab, you don't want to have to take out loans for medical school if you don't have to. The VA will not repay those after you get approved.
I was under the impression that you couldn't use the gi bill for med school? Still working on my undergrad. I switched to voc rehab in May and have about 9 months left on my ch 33 bill.
 

xffan624

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I was under the impression that you couldn't use the gi bill for med school? Still working on my undergrad. I switched to voc rehab in May and have about 9 months left on my ch 33 bill.
You can use definitely your post 9/11 GI bill for medical school. I did so for the first year of MS1 until I was approved for voc rehab. How much use it is to you depends on the school you go to. If you go a public school where you're a resident or that allows you to quickly qualify for in state tuition (many states are trending this way thanks to the new law), then it will fully cover your tuition. If you go to a private school, it will cover about $19K of the tuition. Yellow ribbon program may make up the difference or help additionally, but this is not guaranteed. The other challenge with the GI bill is that it may not fully cover the four years of medical school as it only has 36 months of benefits and medical school can last longer than that as you don't get breaks during the summer.

Either way for you, you're already approved for Voc rehab. so I assume you can follow on to medical school with that plan?
 
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silleme

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I'm still a little confused on the amount of time you are given to use VOC rehab. Some post say it pays for the entire program and some post say it pays for the portion of education benefit you have left. Can someone clarify?

I'd like to know because I have 3.5 months left on my ch33 benefit and I'm debating if I should use it to cover one of my last 2 undergraduate semesters or save it for when I'm accepted into med school (granted I get accepted of course) and applying for VOC rehab so I can get full BAH.
You have to have at least a day of Ch 33 benefits left to get the GI Bill rate stipend with Ch 31 Voc Rehab. You don't have to have any left to use Voc Rehab. Typically they will only approve programs where the total usage is 48 months with Ch 31 and Ch 33 combined, but if you can make a good employability argument, they may waive it and pay for the whole thing.

I'd personally talk to a voc rehab VSO and see what they say. If I remember correctly it's what benefits you have remaining when you apply, so don't wait. Also, they both cover medical school, it's just how much they cover. Shoot...the book and testing coverage that Voc Rehab has would save a LOT of money in med school versus coming out of pocket after the $1k book stipend is gone from the Post 9/11.
 
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silleme

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I forgot to add that in order to get your total benefits to extend past 48 months, you have to prove a Serious Employment Handicap. What that is varies, but again the forms and advice you can find on the CH 31 FB page have been invaluable to a lot of people.
 
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rikudo

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Just got approved this morning. 4 years of dental school tuition, supplies, fees, licensure exams, and new computer. I'm getting the national flat-rate stipend, with 3 dependents, because I exhausted my gi bill benefits last month. Yusssss!!!
That's great news. Congrats!
 
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@Daneosaurus I'll be right by you for medical school - next year (deferred to be class of 2020). Lets get in touch. Will be good to know another vet in the field where I'll be moving. You can tell me all the good spots, and where to avoid haha
 
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68PGunner

Bum. This thread is a winner especially for all vets out there. Considering the wear and grind of the military, all vets should be able to get at least 20% disability from the VA allowing them to qualify for this program.
 
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68PGunner

True. From what I've read, it seems to be the variable experiences with the voc rehab counselors that determines if you get it though
I think it varies from person to person because you need to come in there with a direction and a plan. If you're knowledgeable on the regulations, the process would be much smoother. Finally, I personally think that it would help a ton if you spin being a physician to how you're able to fulfill your dream of taking care of soldiers at home as a VA doc instead of at the battlefield.
 
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j4pac

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I'm going to superbump this thread because I am very interested in learning about Voc Rehab for residency.

As of right now, I have bought into the Montgomery GI Bill and will be getting the $1800 or so each month throughout. After I finish my 3 year residency, I plan on requesting a year of P911GIB for fellowship (if I go).

How would Voc Rehab fit into that equation? What is the payout and for how long?

I will likely have at least 10% disability.
 
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j4pac

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Also...can this thread be moved to the military forum where it can get more traffic?
 

j4pac

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I think you'll have a really hard time getting Voc Rehab having already graduated med school since it's designed to make someone employable due to a disability that limits their employment based on their current education/skills. 20+% VA disability has a lower standard of impairment to prove. I think the wording goes to "serious employment handicap" for <20%.

Financially, if you were approved for voc rehab, the main source of $ would be the housing allowance. Since you have $1800 a month MGIB, this might be more or less depending on zip.
Thanks for the info!
 

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The original information stating that
To apply to Voc Rehab, I believe you must already have an acceptance where you will be going because the plans are often specific, in which a particular school will even be listed. I believe you can change schools, but not the overall pathway (at least not easily, by any means). What does this mean? This means, do not apply unless you are accepted somewhere already so that you can show proof of your program of study.
This is untrue. I applied and was accepted to Voc Rehab prior to having any acceptances to any schools. After they approved me I applied for and was accepted to the school I wanted to attend and then they started paying.
 
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666670

Hi All,
So if we are getting funding thru either the GI Bill, Voc Rehab or HPSP are we still able to take out money from FASFA? I was thinking about trying to buy a house while I'm at school. Use FASFA money as the down payment and use the VA loan to finish it while paying the morgage with the stipend. Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm pretty sure with the G.I. Bill you can, I know for sure with voc rehab you can because I've seen other people do it.
 
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MusicDOc124

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Ladies and gents,

New legislature has passed. If you are 10%, it is my understanding that you no longer need a sever employment handicap (SEH). It is not the same as iff you had 20% or higher (for the sake of eligibility).

I will edit the main post later or tomorrow.
 

silleme

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New legislature has passed. If you are 10%, it is my understanding that you no longer need a severe employment handicap (SEH). It is not the same as if you had 20% or higher (for the sake of eligibility).
From what I recall you had to show SEH to get more than the allotted 48 months of training including your GI Bill. Has that part changed? Or is it only that you no longer have to show SEH for those with 10% getting approved for Ch. 31?
 

silleme

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Hi All, So if we are getting funding thru either the GI Bill, Voc Rehab or HPSP are we still able to take out money from FASFA? I was thinking about trying to buy a house while I'm at school. Use FASFA money as the down payment and use the VA loan to finish it while paying the morgage with the stipend. Thanks in advance.
You'd definitely need to check with your mortgage lender on this. I know quite a few will not approve you using GI Bill benefits or other educational loans as they're not shown as actual income. While you can get student loans and utilize FAFSA funds while on Ch 33 as well as Ch 31, I would still double check the financing requirements. You shouldn't have to do a down payment with the VA-backed loan, but there are still costs associated with buying that will add up. Best of luck!
 
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MusicDOc124

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From what I recall you had to show SEH to get more than the allotted 48 months of training including your GI Bill. Has that part changed? Or is it only that you no longer have to show SEH for those with 10% getting approved for Ch. 31?
You still need an SEH to go over the 48 regardless(10% or 20%+), but previously you needed to be 20% minimum to qualify for the Voc Rehab, with the exception of 10% with SEH whom were then granted 48+ months by default of the SEH that was required for 10%-ers.

Now, 10%-ers can qualify even if they don't have an SEH, it's just that those who don't have an SEH will get up to 48 months, which is still 12 months better than what they previously qualified for.
 
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You still need an SEH to go over the 48 regardless(10% or 20%+), but previously you needed to be 20% minimum to qualify for the Voc Rehab, with the exception of 10% with SEH whom were then granted 48+ months by default of the SEH that was required for 10%-ers.

Now, 10%-ers can qualify even if they don't have an SEH, it's just that those who don't have an SEH will get up to 48 months, which is still 12 months better than what they previously qualified for.
I appreciate all the info. If we transfer the Post-9/11 GI Bill to a spouse or child, can we use vocational rehab?
 
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MusicDOc124

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I appreciate all the info. If we transfer the Post-9/11 GI Bill to a spouse or child, can we use vocational rehab?
Good question! I do not know that, but if you contact someone from Voc Rehab or the VA in general, you should be able to get an answer. If/when you do, please post it here in case anyone else needs the answer as well.
 
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silleme

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I appreciate all the info. If we transfer the Post-9/11 GI Bill to a spouse or child, can we use vocational rehab?
100% yes. The transfer still needs to happen before you get out, but on the Ch 31 page, there are many examples of people who didn't have the GI Bill and were using Voc Rehab. You just won't get the monthly stipend if you don't save at least a day (month is best) of benefits for yourself. You have to sign up for the Ch 31 program and be approved before you qualify to receive the stipend as well. In case I was confusing, yes you can get Voc Rehab, your benefits will just be a little different. You can see all the Ch 31 benefits you qualify for in the M28R.
http://www.disabledveterans.org/vre-voc-rehab-manual-m28r/

And to download a paginated and searchable version of the M28R click here: M28R Paginated
 
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666670

Yes GI Bill is non-taxable income and therefore not able to be counted as income, no W-2. However HPSP money is taxed and considered income....sooo I guess I'll have to get back to everyone and let you know what happends.
To piggy back off the previous poster, I've never been allowed to count veterans benefits as income, except on house rental applications.
 
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