Use your DD214 to help you access your specific GI Bill beneifts. The DD214 will alswo help you determine which GI Bill program you qualify for.

The GI Bill and your DD214

Helpful tips to securing your education.

If you have served in the military you know that The United States Department of Veterans Affairs offers educational benefits through the GI Bill-but do you know how to gain access to these funds when you decide to go to school?

Applying For Benefits

One of the first steps in the college application process is getting all of the paperwork together to apply for financial aid. Most college students will need to fill out the FAFSA (Federal Application For Student Aid) when they get started. If you have served in the military you'll also need to apply to get your funding through the GI Bill program. Be sure to start the process far enough in advance so that you can get all your paperwork in before the deadline. If you need to order a copy of your DD214, remember that it can take some time.

Will I Need A DD214?

If you're active duty, your orders will serve as proof of service. If you're retired or separated from the military you'll probably need a certified copy of your DD214 in order to claim any of the GI Bill benefits that you have coming. This form proves that you've been in the military, but it also serves as a record of your discharge. You'll need to prove that you have an honorable discharge in order to get GI Bill benefits.

The DD Form 214 is just one thing you'll need when applying for the GI Bill; here are some forms that you may need when applying for benefits for the first time:

  • Veterans--a certified copy of the DD214, VA Form 1990
  • Dependent students--VA Form 5490
  • Guard and Reserve-- (Chapter 1606)-DD Form 2384

Always be sure to check with the school you are applying to, as requirements may vary. Each school has its own procedure for filing financial aid forms.

Proof Of Service Dates

Not only do you need the DD214 to apply for educational benefits, but you'll also need it to figure out exactly what financial help you are able to get through the GI Bill. There are several kinds of GI Bill programs, and to find out which ones you qualify for, you'll need to know the specific dates of your service. For example, those who can claim benefits under the Post-9/11 GI-Bill will have a different financial aid package than those who come in under the Montgomery GI Bill. Also, some programs are covered under one type of GI Bill, but not another.

The DD214 also lists your home of record, which affects your eligibility for certain school programs that could be offered in tandem with the GI Bill, depending on where you live and what school you want to attend.