Did you know the “Forever GI Bill” allows certain members of the National Guard and Reserve to transfer into the Post-9/11 GI Bill after they lost their educational benefits in 2015?

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, known as the Forever GI Bill, passed into law last August, made several changes to Veterans’ educational benefits. One of the changes restored eligibility to those who were eligible for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) but lost it due to the sunset of the program.

Those who lost eligibility may now use that eligibility under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sent notification letters to eligible individuals. The letters included a “Choice of Election” attachment that can be completed and returned to the address indicated in the letter. Those who return it received a formal determination indicating if they are eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and the number of months they have remaining.

Think you might be eligible or know a member of the Guard or Reserve who may be? If you didn’t get a letter and think you are eligible, you can apply by submitting a VA Form 22-1990 here.

Start your Post-9/11 GI Bill education journey

If you haven’t explored your options to use your GI Bill benefits, you can start by visiting the GI Bill Comparison Tool. You can see how to maximize your education value and look up the college, training school, or even apprenticeship program you’re interested in attending. You can also see how much your GI Bill benefits will pay for and if you’d have any out of pocket expenses.

If you have any questions, please call 1–888-GI-BILL-1 (1–888–442–4551). If you use the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), the Federal number is 711. You can also visit the Forever GI Bill website.

As always, be sure to follow us on social media with our Facebook and Twitter @VAVetBenefits accounts. These give you quick and helpful updates.


The Veterans Benefits Administration’s Education Service delivers GI Bill® education benefits to Veterans, service members and their families. Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped millions of Veterans pay for college, graduate school, and training programs.

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Published on Aug. 1, 2018

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