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Atlanta Regional Processing Office
Tuition Assistance Top-Up

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In addition to the increase in Tuition Assistance limits, the legislation revised Chapter 30 (38 U.S.C. §3014) to permit V.A. to issue payment to an individual for all or any portion of the difference between the Tuition Assistance amount paid by the military component and the total cost of tuition and related charges. This provision is Tuition Assistance Top-up (TAT). TAT is available only to persons eligible for chapter 30. Although Reserve and National Guard components also offer Tuition Assistance, there is no Top-up provision for chapter 1606 recipients. A person who is eligible to receive chapter 30 who is receiving Tuition Assistance from a Reserve or National Guard component, is eligible for TAT. Only Federal Tuition Assistance paid by National Guard components qualifies for TAT.

NOTE:Tuition Assistance Top-up is not additional Tuition Assistance. It is a Chapter 30 benefit.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

There are two eligibility requirements for Tuition Assistance Top-up.

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence  The person must meet the chapter 30 eligibility and payment requirements. This means that a person on Active Duty must be a chapter 30 participant and have served at least 24 months in order for Top-up to be payable.

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence  The Top-up benefit can be paid only for courses for which Tuition Assistance was paid by the military.

APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence Top-up benefits are payable for any course for which DoD has approved the payment of Tuition Assistance. The courses and facilities do not have to be approved for other V.A. benefit programs.

EFFECTIVE DATE

The effective date for the provisions of this law is October 30, 2000. The Tuition Assistance Top-up benefit is available for terms that begin on or after October 30, 2000.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence  The Top-up payment is made to the individual claimant, not to the training facility. It is made in one lump-sum payment.

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence The TOP UP payment is limited by Chapter 30 rates.  A person who receives Tuition Assistance for courses that would be payable at the half-time rate for chapter 30, could receive a TAT payment equal to the cost of the course not covered by Tuition Assistance up to the amount payable for the half-time rate for the period of the course.

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence The Top-up benefit is payable for 36 months of courses.  The Top-up entitlement is reduced by the length of the course regardless of how much the Top-up payment is.

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence If Tuition Assistance Top-up has been paid, the full-time monthly rate of M.G.I.B. benefits to which the individual would normally be entitled is subsequently reduced by the amount of the total Top-up payment divided by 36.

This is a colored dot used as as a bullet at the start of a sentence The reduction applies to the basic rate only, not to any kicker portion of the monthly rate. Although it would be very unusual, if a person had received an amount of Top-up equal to his or her entire M.G.I.B. basic entitlement, the person could receive a monthly rate equal to only the kicker portion of the normal rate.

HOW TO APPLY FOR TOP-UP

This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence.If you haven’t previously filed a claim with the V.A. for M.G.I.B. , you should do the following:
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence.Request T.A. from your branch of service. See your education services officer or education counselor.
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence.Complete an application for V.A. education benefits, V.A. Form 22-1990 [this form is available on-line].
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence.Indicate "top-up" on the V.A. application in item 1A under the M.G.I.B. – Active Duty block.
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence.Send your T.A. approval form, along with the application for V.A. education benefits, to the V.A. Regional Processing Office that handles your claim. The address is on the form.
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence.If you have previously filed a claim with the V.A. for M.G.I.B. and were not denied benefits, simply submit your signed T.A. approval form to:

V.A. Regional Office, PO Box 100022, Decatur GA 30031-7022.

Important: These claims are handled differently from claims for M.G.I.B. without T.A. For top-up claims, 

This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence. you will not need to check in with the school official who certifies V.A. benefits.
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence. We will not need an enrollment certification on V.A. Form 22-1999. 
This is a colored dot used as a bullet at the beginning of a sentence. You will not need to check for approval of the program for V.A. benefits; approval is not an issue.  That is because top-up is payable for any course for which T.A. is payable under D.O.D. criteria.

 

V.A. determines your eligibility for M.G.I.B. If you are eligible for M.G.I.B, the T.A. approval form establishes your eligibility for top-up. No certifications from the school are needed.

What about the signatures on the T.A. approval form? The T.A. approval form must be signed by the approving D.O.D. officials. Some branches of service require the commanding officer’s signature; some require the education service officer’s signature.

For additional information on this program please visit the link below:

V.A. Education Web Site

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