Rates for GI Bill programs to increase
I heard from a friend that the Department of Veterans Affairs will increase the GI Bill rates soon. Can you explain?
Answer: The GI Bill full-time student payment rate will increase by 4 percent to $1,075 a month on Oct. 1. This benefit will be worth $38,700, a total increase of nearly $1,500 over last year's rate. This total is based on the new monthly full-time student payment rate of $1,075 multiplied by the 36-month limit. The actual benefit may be much higher if the eligible student signed up for the Army, Navy or Marine Corps College Funds or elected to participate in the GI Bill Buy-Up program.
Other GI Bill programs will also see an increase. The GI Bill for Selected Reserve will be worth $309 a month, the Reserve Education Assistance Program will be up to a maximum of $806 a month, and the GI Bill Apprenticeship and On the Job Training program will pay as much as $913 a month. The GI Bill is good for only 10 years after the date of your last discharge from active-duty service. For information, check out the Web site http://education.military.com/money-for-school/gi-bill/va-increases-gi-bill-rates.
Q: How do I apply for low-income exemption from VA prescriptions and doctor appointment copayments?
A: To be considered for the low-income exemption, you must agree to provide income information to the VA. Then the VA compares your income to the limit set by law every year. If your income level is below this limit, you are exempt from the medication copayment. Additionally, certain veterans with short-term financial hardships may be eligible for a waiver of the copayment. To obtain information regarding a waiver, or how to apply for a low-income exemption, call the VA at 433-0600.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.