Chapter 30 has four eligibility categories. The benefits generally apply to Veterans who began active duty service for the first time after June 30, 1985, had their pay reduced $100 a month for 12 months, and received an honorable discharge. For further information, you can view an information pamphlet published by the VA here.
To be eligible for education payments under MGIB, Veterans must possess an Honorable discharge. This would exclude those Veterans with a General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions or any other discharge. Also excluded are officers who obtained their commission after December 31, 1976 through a military academy (Annapolis, West Point, Air Force Academy, or Coast Guard Academy), or through an ROTC scholarship program (payments exceeding $3,400/yr).
Individuals released from active duty with an Honorable character of service by reason of Convenience of the Government (COG) with 20 months of service on a two-year contract, or 30 months on a three-year contract, are eligible even if they did not complete their full contract period. They will receive one month of Chapter 30 benefits for each month of active duty. Chapter 30 benefits are paid on a monthly basis directly to the veteran. Rates can be found here.
Higher monthly benefits are paid to Chapter 30 participants with “kickers” and to Chapter 30 participants who make additional Chapter 30 payments. Veterans may have a kicker, additional contributions, or both. The higher benefit rates are paid automatically when benefits are paid. If Veterans don’t receive the benefit they believe they are entitled to receive, they should call VA about the discrepancy so that VA can resolve the discrepancy with the Department of Defense. A kicker is part of the enlistment contract. It might be referred to as the Army College Fund, Navy Sea College Fund or similar name. If a contract has a $12,000 kicker, for example, then the monthly kicker is $333.33 ($12,000 ÷ 36 months), which increases the $1,717.00 full-time Chapter 30 benefit to $2,050.33.
Servicepersons who participate in Chapter 30 contribute $1,200.00 towards Chapter 30. The contribution is non-refundable, with one exception. Chapter 30 (category 1 only) students who elect and then exhaust their Chapter 33 entitlement and are receiving a monthly housing allowance will receive a refund of the $1,200.00 contribution proportional to the amount of unused chapter 30 entitlement at the time of election for chapter 33. The refund is included in their last monthly housing allowance payment.
Servicepersons may have contributed up to $600.00 more into the program. The maximum $600.00 additional contribution will increase the basic full-time Chapter 30 benefit by $150.00 per month. Additional contributions are not refundable for those who elect Chapter 33.
Individuals making an initial application for this benefit may complete an on-line application using the VA's Veteran's On-Line Application System (VONAPP) or by completing and submitting an Application for VA Educational Benefits (VA Form 22-1990) to Chemeketa Veterans' Services. Students who have used this benefit at another school or wish to change their degree or program should complete and submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-1995) to Chemeketa Veterans' Services.