Atlanta Regional Processing Office
Tuition Assistance Top-Up
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.
Assistance Top-up is not additional Tuition Assistance. It is a Chapter 30
There are two eligibility requirements for Tuition Assistance Top-up.
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.
The Top-up benefit can be paid only for courses for
which Tuition Assistance was paid by the military.
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.
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.
The Top-up payment is made to the individual claimant, not to the training facility. It is made in one lump-sum payment.
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.
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.
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.
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
|If you haven’t previously filed a claim with the V.A. for M.G.I.B. , you
should do the following:
|Request T.A. from your branch of service. See your education services
officer or education counselor.|
|Complete an application for V.A. education benefits, V.A.
Form 22-1990 [this form is available on-line].|
|Indicate "top-up" on the V.A. application in item 1A under
the M.G.I.B. – Active Duty block.|
|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.|
|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,
| you will not need to check in with the school official who certifies V.A. benefits.|
| We will not need an enrollment
certification on V.A. Form 22-1999. |
| 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
For additional information on this program please
visit the link below:
V.A. Education Web Site
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