GI Bill License and Certification Program

project managers at desk

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. For the Post-9/11 GI Bill the amount your entitlement is charged is based on an annual maximum amount and is rounded up. For example, in the 2014/2015 academic year the annual maximum amount is $1,688.16 - so if your test costs $1688.17 your are charged 2 months of entitlement. For all other GI Bill programs the VA divides 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.

Among the many types of licensing or certification programs you can use your  GI Bill Benefits for are:

  • Project Management Certification
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification
  • Real Estate Licensing
  • Network Certification

Eligibility

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

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • The Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty (this benefit isn't available for the MGIB for reservists)
  • VEAP
  • Dependents' Educational Assistance
  • The Fry Scholarship

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. You can also apply online via the VA's VONAPP website.

After you apply for GI Bill benefits, or if you have already been determined eligible by the VA you should complete and submit the VA Form 22-0803 (Application for Reimbursement of Licensing and Certification Test).

You can find the approved tests at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill, 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.benefits.va.gov/gibill. 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 the GI Bill Inquiry website gibill.custhelp.com.
  • Call at 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551), or for the hearing-impaired, TDD 711

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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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