GI Bill License and Certification Program

Reimbursement for licensing and certification tests that have been specifically approved for the GI Bill is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA can pay only for the cost of the tests, not any other fees connected with obtaining a license or certification. The following is a summary of the GI Bill License and Certification Program.

Overview

In today's business and federal workforce, having a license or certification can open doors for you. A license is required for most professions, and for jobs that are subject to state or other government regulations. Certification is voluntary, but frequently sought after. That's because getting a certification can help you get, keep, or advance in a job.

Note: By certification, we mean the certification you get by taking a specific test for a field of employment, not a certificate you receive for completion of training. However, you can also use your VA benefits for many school courses and programs needed to obtain a license or certification. Use the Military.com "School Finder" to find a school that offers the specific courses or program you need.

In jobs from mechanics and installers to medical technicians to therapists to computer network engineers to web site developers, it's clear that certifications play a key role.

You can receive reimbursement of up to $2,000 per test but not more than the actual cost of the test. You can receive benefits to retake a test if you fail. The number of tests you can take is unlimited, except that you can't receive benefits to retake a test you passed.

Note: Your total months of entitlement to VA education benefits will be reduced each time you use your benefits for licensing and certification. To determine the charge to your entitlement, divide the cost of the test by your monthly benefit rate for full-time training. For example, if your test costs $684, and $1368 is your full-time student payment rate, you'd use one half-month of entitlement.

 

Eligibility

You may receive this benefit if you're eligible for:

  • The Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty (this benefit isn't available for the MGIB for reservists)
  • VEAP
  • Dependents' Educational Assistance

Reminder: You generally have 10 years after your discharge from active duty to use your benefits.

Filing an Application

If you have never filed an application for education benefits, you need to submit an application along with your request for payment for the test - or tests. If you are a veteran or are on active duty, download VA Form 22-1990. If you are an eligible child or spouse, download VA Form 22-5490. Mail your application form together with your test information to the VA office for your state. Include the test information in the Remarks section of the form. Send a copy of your test results with a note requesting reimbursement. Make sure to include:

  • Your name and social security number
  • The name of the test you took and the date you took it
  • The name and address of the organization issuing the license or certificate (not necessarily the organization that administered the test)
  • The cost of the test (note: Registration fees, preparation guides, processing fees, etc. will not be reimbursed.)
  • The following statement: "I authorize release of my test information to VA."

To make this process a little easier, view the Application for Licensing and Certification Testing Fee Reimbursement to see an example of the information VA will need to process your claim. You can print the form and send it in as your application. VA has no "Official" application for this benefit.

You can find the approved tests at www.gibill.va.gov, on the Licensing and Certification page. If the test you're taking isn't on the approved list, they will ask the state-approving agency to see if it can be approved.

Contacts

If you have questions on the licensing and certification benefit, or on applying for benefits, you can:

  • Check the Internet site: www.gibill.va.gov. You'll find a link to the Licensing and Certification page.
  • Send an e-mail inquiry to the VA Regional Processing Office near you by going to www.gibill.va.gov and clicking on Ask a Question.

Call at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551), or for the hearing-impaired, 1-800-829-4833. However, the phone lines are often very busy, especially when school enrollments are heavy. You may have more success through the Internet.

Related Topics

GI Bill Benefits Montgomery GI Bill

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GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
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