Veteran Benefits


 Lawson State School Code:  001059


Veterans Benefit Information

These are general guidelines that will help the process. However, you should check with the specific location you will attend. Contact information is at the end of this page. Click on each bulleted item for more information.

Admission 

Complete an application for regular student status and submit to the Admissions Office.

1. Select a program of study (a requirement for VA benefits.)
2. Submit a copy of your high school transcript.
3. Take the placement exam.
4. Submit official college transcripts from all other institutions.

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Registration

Only students who have  been officially addmitted by Lawson State may register.

Academic Advisors and Counselors will assist in planning a class schedule for incoming students. Only those courses within the student’s program of study are eligible to count toward enrollment certification of veterans benefits.

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Program Selection 

1. Students receiving VA benefits may select any program offered at Lawson State Community College, including our GED program, upon approval from the Veterans Services Office. Only one program of study may be pursued and certified for enrollment at any on time. If the veteran decides to major in two programs at the same time, only the courses leading to the approved degree program will be certified. The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) will not pay for courses that are taken under an unapproved program.

2. Veterans may change a program of study and continue to receive benefits if the new program is approved by DVA.

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Class Attendance

The Department of Veterans Affairs encourages students receiving veterans' benefits to attend all scheduled classes. Failure of a class due to poor or non- attendance may result in the loss of benefits and/or ann overpayment of  veterans benefits already received for the course (s) in which a grade of F was assigned.  Students enrolled in a Certificate program must satisfy the Department of Veterans Affairs 85% attendance policy.

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Veterans Educational Benefits

The following must be submitted for the certification process to begin.  It is the veteran’s responsibility to assemble all needed materials and submit them to the Institution's Veterans Services Office.

Applicants Under Chapters 30, 32, 34, VRAP - Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (under Ch 30 - Expires March 31, 2014

1. New applicants complete VA Form 22-1990 or,
2. Transfer students must complete VA Form 22-1995 and,
3. Submit copy of: DD214 - Report of Separation (Member 4 copy)
4. Veterans eligible for CH34 benefits (entered service 1977 or earlier) also submit copies of:
• Marriage certificate
• Birth certificates of dependent children
• Divorce decrees
5. Veterans eligible for VRAP benefits must submit the certificate of eligibility. (VRAP students are required to be fulltime and are eligible for 12 months of benefits.)

Applicants under  Chapter 33
Chapter 33 is an educational benefit program ranging from 40% to 100% eligibility, for individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. The effective start date for Chapter 33 was August 1, 2009. There are two benefit programs under Chapter 33:
    1.  Post 911 GI Bill - for eligible individuals who served on active duty after September 10, 2001; and
    2.  Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship - for children of service members who die in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.

CH 33 allows for the following benefits for students:
1. A tuition and fee benefit paid directly to Lawson State;
2. A monthly housing allowance provided to the student - based on zip code of institution;
        (One - half the BAH natinal average for student training solely by distance learning - totally online)
3. A book stipend of up to $1,000 per academic year;
4. And in some cases, a one time rural benefit payment - (does not include Fry scholarship recipients).

The Yellow Ribbon Program:

•The Yellow Ribbon program allows approved institutions and DVA to partially or fully fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the established thresholds under the Post 911 GI Bill. 
Lawson State does participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program

To receive benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program:
1.You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate of 100% eligibility under the Post-9/11 GI Bill;
2.You must not be on active duty or a spouse transferee of an active duty member;
3. Child transferees of active duty Service members may be eligible if Service member qualifies at 100%;
4. Fry Scholarship applicants are not eligible for Yellow Ribbon benefits.

FAQs about the new Post-9/11 GI Bill 
    1. Eligible tuition and fees are paid directly to the institution;
    2. Benefits can be transferred to a dependent;
    3. The  Post 911 GI Bill includes active service as a National Guard member under title 32 U.S. C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training and active servce under section 502(f) of title 32 for the purpose of responding to a national emergency.
    4. BAH is not payable to individuals on active duty or those enrolled at half time or less.

Applicants Under Chapter 35 (Survivors/Dependents)
1. New applicants complete VA Form 22-5490 or,
2. Transfer students complete VA Form 22-5495 and,
3. Provide Veterans VA File Number.

Applicants Under Chapter 1606/1607 (Reserves/National Guard)

1. New applicants complete VA Form 22-1990- or,
2. Transfer students complete VA Form 22-1995 and,
3. Submit copy of DD2384 -Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE).

All Applicants Under All Chapters:

 

 


May submit applications for benefits via VONAPP - Veterans Online Application at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/ Must submit:

1. Certuificate of Eligibility or Copy of Application or Change of School Information Form;
2. Signed Statement of Understanding - (Obtained from Institution)

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Payment

The first check should arrive SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS after the first day of classes or later if the veteran should apply for certification after classes begin.

Information about qualifying pay rates and payment dates for Chapter 30, 34, 35, 32 and 1606/1607 is made available to the student by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Student may also obtain information via WAVE at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/default.cfm or by  calling 1-888-442-4551.

If you receive the Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606/1607, you must verify your attendance at the end of each month, or at the end of a term, before payment is processed. You will not receive payment until VA receives your verification.  You may do so via the automated telephone system at 1-877-823-2378 or via the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/default.cfm.

Veterans planning to enroll in mini-terms, or a combination of full semester and mini-terms, may want to contact the Veterans Affairs Office to determine their training status.

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Certification Using Veterans Standard Of Progress

DVA may not pay educational benefits if one of the following should occur:

1.The veteran registers for classes that are not required for the student's declared program of study. Depending on circumstances, deficiency or remedial courses may be certified for benefits.

2.The veteran fails to submit all previous college transcripts for evaluation.

3.The veteran registers for two or more courses and receives an “F” grade for all courses for one semester.

4.The veteran fails to convert an “I” grade to a letter grade within the institution's required deadline.

6.The veteran fails to achieve the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for two consecutive semesters or sessions.

A student will be placed on academic probation during the first semester or session the minimum cumulative GPA is not achieved. By the end of the probation semester, the student must attain the minimum cumulative GPA.
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Dependents Qualifying For Eligibility

All questions concerning child and/or spouse eligibility can be located at the Department of Veterans Affairs at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ or you may call toll free at 1 (888) 442-4551.

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Other Benefits

 Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA)

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA), a component of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program, is a career development and employment assistance program. MyCAA helps military spouses pursue licenses, certificates, certifications or Associate's Degrees (excluding Associate's Degrees in General Studies, Liberal Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies that do not have a concentration) necessary for gainful employment in high demand, high growth Portable Career Fields and Occupations. For more information regarding MyCAA program visit: https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/default.aspx 

The MyCAA program provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses, or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields.
Spouses of Active Duty members of the Department of Defense and activated members of the National Guard and Reserve Components are eligible. Currently, the period of eligibility for spouses of Guard and Reserve members is from the date of the Alert or Warning Order for Military Recall or Mobilization, through activation and deployment until 180 days following De-Mobilization.

Please Note:
1.For military members who have transferred their Post 9/11 GI Bill (CH33) to their spouse: Federal regulation prohibit spouses from using both MyCAA and CH33 tuition funds to pay for the same course(s).

2.MyCAA benefits must be considered when calculating Financial Aid Title IV eligibility.

The MyCAA Fact Sheet that provides current information on eligibility and application procedures: MyCAA Fact Sheet

Tutorial Assistance

A veteran is eligible to receive up to $600 for tutorial assistance if approved by Veterans Services. Chapter 1606/1607 applicants will not be paid for receiving tutorial assistance.

Work-Study

The Work-Study program allows a VA student to earn the Federal or state minimum wage (whichever is higher) for up to 1,300 hours per year. The benefit is tax free and allows each VA student to “earn while he learns” while he or she is pursuing an approved post-secondary program of education on at least a three-quarter time basis.

The VA Work-Study student must work in an office that permits them to perform VA related activities. These sites include, but are not limited to:  Regional Offices, VA Medical Centers, Vet Centers, VA Outpatient clinics, National Cemeteries, and local educational institutions, and might include preparing and processing VA enrollment certifications, checking VA student attendance records or checking for course changes, etc.

Entitlement to Benefits

Lawson State certifies student enrollment status, changes in enrollments, programs of study, academic progress, and graduation. All questions concerning payment may be directed to the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1 (888) 442-4551 or by sending an electronic inquiry by going to:  https://gibill.custhelp.com .

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Direct Deposit

Address and direct deposit information must be kept current. Chapter 30, 1606 & 1607 students can use the WAVE system to update address and financial institution information. Links to do so are on the "Main Menu" available after you log onto WAVE.

If a student wants to start (Chapter 30, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607) or change a direct deposit, the student should have his or her account information handy. The following information is needed to set up direct deposit and can be found on checks and bank statements:

• Account number

• 9 digit bank routing number

• Type of account (checking or savings)

If a student has direct deposit the student still needs to keep his or her address current because all other correspondence including award letters are mailed to the student's address.

All other students can call 1-877-838-2778 to begin and change direct deposit.

*****Effective February 3, 2012, DEA (Ch35) is now eligible to use Direct Deposit as a means of payment (with the exception of Work Study programs or Tutorial Assistance).  

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eBenefits

 

www.ebenefits.va.gov/

Students are strongly encouraged to register and utilize eBenefits to assist them in the following:

• Obtaining up to date information on their educational entitlement
• Updating their Direct Deposit and personal contact information
• Downloading VA letters and personal documents
• Viewing the current status of their payments (both education and disability)


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Equal Opportunity Statement

Lawson State is committed to non-discrimination and equal opportunities in its programs, activities and employment for students and employees regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or sexual orientation. Information regarding affirmative action and equal access should be addressed to:

Mrs. Janice McGee
Director of Human Resources
Lawson State Community College
Administration Building
Birmingham, AL 35221
(205) 929-6308

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