Last updated January 12, 2010
Emergency Payments for Veterans Awaiting VA Educational Benefits
One-time advance payment checks for eligible veterans that have not yet received their education benefits for the Fall of 2009 are still available. Advance payment checks are not available for individuals on active duty.
Question: Am I eligible for the education advance payments?
Answer: If you are a Veteran who is eligible under one of VA’s education programs and currently enrolled in school, and you have not yet received your monthly benefit payment, you are eligible for an advance payment.
Question: How much money will VA give me?
Answer: Payments of up to $3,000 will be made to Veterans who have applied for their education benefits but who have not yet received their monthly benefit payment. The amount of your payment will be based upon the benefit payable under your educational program.
Question: How can I get an advance payment?
Answer: You can go to your nearest VA regional office to receive an advance pay. A list of VA regional offices is available at www.vba.va.gov/VBA/benefits/offices.asp.
Question: I am having difficulty cashing the advance payment check I received from one of VA’s regional offices. What can I do?
Answer: VA has established a special phone number that your bank can call to verify with VA the validity of your check. That number is 1-800-827-2166. Additionally, VA encourages all financial institutions with questions about checks issued by VA to go to, www.VA.gov. VA’s website will have further information on the security process VA has established for banks to verify US Bank checks.
Question: What hours will the regional offices be open?
Answer: Regional offices will be open weekdays for advance payments during normal business hours.
Question: When I go to a regional office to receive an advance payment, what do I need to bring with me?
Answer: You need to provide a government-issued photo ID (Driver’s License, Military ID, etc.) and proof you are enrolled in school (class schedule, admission letter, enrollment verification letter, etc.). You will be required to sign for the payment upon receipt.
Question: Can I send a family member on my behalf to get my check?
Answer: No. You must appear in person.
Question: How can I get transportation to a regional office?
Answer: You can request free van service, provided by volunteers, to take you to the nearest regional office. To obtain this service, call your nearest VA medical center and ask for the “Volunteer Transportation Coordinator.” Transportation will be on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis. A map and list of medical centers is available at http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/division_flsh.asp?dnum=1.
Question: If I received my October 1 education payment, am I still eligible for a $3000 advance payment?
Answer: No, advance payments are only authorized for Veterans who have not yet received their monthly payments for the fall 2009 school term.
Question: Can I receive more than one advance payment?
Answer: Only one payment is authorized per Veteran, up to $3,000.
Question: Will I have to pay this advance payment back to VA?
Answer: The payment will be recouped from your future VA payments. However, if you stop attending school during the semester or reduce your course load to a level that affects your monthly benefit, full recoupment by VA may not be possible, and you will have to repay any remaining balance.
Question: I receive VA education benefits as a dependent of a Veteran. Am I eligible for an advance payment?
Answer: No, advance payments are only available to Veterans.
Question: I live in a foreign country. Can I receive advance payment?
Answer: Advance payments can only be issued to US mailing addresses.