As we begin 2021, VA’s Education Service reflected on the challenges the past year uncovered and examined how we adapted to meet your needs. Whether you are a Veteran about to begin your education journey with the GI Bill® or a current GI Bill student looking for inspiration as you plan for your future, we understand the impact COVID-19 may have on your life.

While there are many resources to support those managing the impacts of COVID-19, we narrowed a few down to create a COVID-19 fact sheet with GI Bill students in mind. You can see the COVID-19 resources described below and find them listed in our COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Here is what you need to know:

  1. COVID-19 legislation protects your GI Bill Benefits: As COVID-19 closed many schools and training establishments, moving many classes and programs online, GI Bill students began asking how this would affect their benefits and direct payments. VA and our partners took action to bring these concerns to Congress. In March 2020, the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 was signed into law, protecting GI Bill benefits and payments. If you have more questions about the COVID-19 legislation, visit our FAQs page to learn more.
  2. Managing personal finances during COVID-19 can be extra challenging, but there are tools to help: From applying for a VA home loan, to protecting yourself against fraudsters, there are resources out there that can make evaluating your finances and planning your budget easier.
  3. Certain flexibilities are available to students with federal financial aid: If you are using federal aid to supplement GI Bill benefits, know what options for managing your aid during COVID-19 are available to you in 2021.
  4. Navigating the job scene looks very different for many this year: Whether you have been recently unemployed and are looking for work, or are returning to work in 2021, there are resources in place to help you make those changes more manageable.

We hope you check out these resources in our downloadable COVID-19 resource document and find them useful, wherever you are in your GI Bill journey. Although navigating COVID-19 can be difficult on its own, we strive to support your success and hope these resources make your GI Bill journey decisions a little easier.

If you have questions about your specific circumstance, please submit your question electronically or contact the Education Call Center at: 1-888-442-4551 (domestic) or 001-918-781-5678 (from overseas) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.


Terry Warren is the stakeholder engagement supervisor at Veterans Benefits Administration.

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4 Comments

  1. JOHNNY R ADAMS February 17, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    I have been waiting a year due to red tape. the education department approved my sons back dated education benefits eligibility and gave us a certificate to prove it but the payment department has a protocol to not back date but up to one year. Making our credit ruined as I am co-signed!

    • Shane pasco February 24, 2021 at 10:46 pm

      I think you need to add more info on your situation. Back dating payments is different for different types. Eg … You will not get more than a year if you signed over your g.i. Bill benefits to him by regulation. The school should be sued for this as they are obligated to research it and tell you this. The school was supposed to deny loans and not allow him to be applied for or even to allow advance on tuition. If you applied for loans on your own, then that is simply a lesson learned that you need to read the fine print on any loan. You needed approval before signing for money to be transfered to the school.

      You can get more by claiming covid finance problems on the tuition only, but will never get paid for any of the BAS or extra costs. Covid forgiveness for your debt is best bet but will take time. You should be sure he stays in school though for this to work and do NOT spend all that is offered to you the upcoming year. Use the remainder to pay off last years tuition.

      If he is still in school in good standing and graduates, the school can be asked ro releive you of debt and any banks should be asked for both forgiveness and forebearance of loans which will clear your credit rating.

      Your biggest mistake was having him start school without a solid approval. Schools are supposed to tell you this. You are not the only one. Also, if it was one of the schools that lost accreditation, you likely can get all debt forgiven automatically. Treat the credit situation as you would any other, request, request request forgiveness from school and banks, then you shoud tell the loan company or bank that the VA will get involved if they wrote the loan and second step is ask for forebearance that will keep all credit reports clear . Be sure to get it in writing in an email that as long as you make a set very minimal payment, you will not be treated as not paying. Also put disputes on the bureuas. It is not end of the world. All the loan banks want is a little money, and if they know they get nothing without a deal, they will deal with you and you clild will be able to go back to school . If he drops out, all bets are off and write your credit goodbye.

  2. James Hearn February 10, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Is there a place in Sacramento where I ca go for a new pair of glasses to replace the ones I have with scratched lenses?

    • Cameron March 9, 2021 at 8:17 pm

      Hey James, yeah, I live in Sactown too. You can go to the “Mather AFB” Hospital off of the HWY 50 or “Mc Cllelin AFB” on wayyyy (towards it’s end) upper Northern Watt Ave. You can also Google “VA Hospitals” in the local area. They “may” refer you to the “Northern Califonria VA Medical Network” in Chico, California or the Martinez office / hospital off the HWY 680 heading west at the junction of “HWY 680 / HWY 4”. There all good.

      Cameron Aujuard, Sacramento, CA

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