Military and Veteran Affairs Center
On behalf of FAMU's Military and Veteran Affairs Center, we welcome you and your student(s) to FAMU! We also thank you for your military service and sacrifices. Parents often have a lot of questions about how their child will use their transfered GI bill dependent benefits. This page is designed to answer most of the questions you may have. We ask that you keep in mind that federal laws prohibit us from releasing certain information to anyone beside the student themselves, unless we have a signed FERPA form on file. Therefore, we ask that the student contact us directly with any questions or concerns regarding their specific situation. Our email is email@example.com and our phone number is 850.412.5843.
Where do I begin? How do I start this process?
The first step in your child being able to use benefits is for the service member to transfer the benefits to the child. This is done thru a process called Transfer of Educational Benefits (“TEB”). You will go to this website and complete that process: http://milconnect.dmdc.mil. Once you have completed this, you will receive a confirmation message and the status at the top of the page will change to submitted. It will stay this way until the VA approves, rejects, or sets your request to a pending status. You can continue to log in and check back until the status changes to approved with an approval date. The military member’s part in the process is now done. **Everything from this point on will be done by the student who is actually going to use the benefit.**
Okay, my status says approved. Now what?
Your dependent, the student who is going to use the benefit, will need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (“COE”). Your child will go to: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp or just Google the word “VONAPP” and the dependent will complete the online application. Please note: a paper application is available in our office; however, the online process is much faster and more efficient.
Once your child completes the VONAPP, they will receive an email confirmation. It is important that the student keeps this email until they receive the paper COE in the mail. They can apply to use their benefits before the COE comes in the mail IF they have the confirmation number from the VONAPP email.
My dependent completed the VONAPP and received the COE. Now what?
Your dependent will bring the COE into the Veteran Center, located at 640 Gamble Street, Suite 2, Tallahassee, Fl 32307, right next to TriO services. We are directly across the street from FAMU Village student housing. The dependent will come in and tell the staff that they are using their benefits for the first time. The Vet Center Staff will then walk the student through the process and go over a checklist of items, 1-to-1 so that the student understands and the staff member can answer any questions.
I understand the privacy laws, but can’t I come in with my dependent?
If your dependent would like you to come in with them for the initial certification so that you can offer moral support, that is fine. However, the benefit now has been transferred to the student, so that is the person we need to be working with. It is important for the student to know and understand what to do and how to do it as they will need to complete the process each semester they wish to use benefits. We appreciate your understanding in that we cannot speak with the parent unless the Veteran Center has a signed FERPA on file. Without the signed FERPA or the student present, we can not violate federal privacy laws and we value your student’s privacy.
I am concerned about how my dependent will spend the money. Can I have that money sent to my own bank account?
This is an issue for you and your dependent to discuss. The Veteran Center does not get involved in any financial discussions. The benefit has been transfered to the dependent, and they will be telling the VA- not the Veteran Center- where they would like that money to be deposited. The dependent needs to set up an e-benefits account https://www.ebenefits.va.gov (or Google “E- benefits”) to tell the VA where to deposit the money.
My dependent didn’t get the amount of money I think he/she should have. Do I have my dependent call the Veteran Center?
No. The Veteran Center is basically an intermediary for the VA, but has no role in the actual disbursement of funds. Your dependent will call the VA at 1-888-GIBILL1 with any payment questions, but their first step would be to check their e- benefits account for pending payments or payment amounts. Keep in mind that the VA pays for a month of attendance after the month is over and only for the days the student was physically in school; therefore, the first and last month of a semester will always be less money. For example, a student will not get paid for August until September, and only for the days they were physically in school. Weekends do not count, nor do holidays/breaks.
When should my dependent certify?
Your dependent should certify each semester they wish to use benefits, as early as possible. We process certifications in the order that they are received, so the earlier they submit their certification, the better. This also helps ensure that the time the benefit is interrupted is minimal. Please note that due to the high volume of students utilizing a benefit, please allow at least 30 days for the Veteran Center to process the certifications. Tuition and Fees will not be sent to the VA until after the add/drop period. The Veteran Center Staff will do their best to submit credit hours in a timely manner in order for the student to recieve their living and book stipend.
What exactly does the VA cover?
That depends on which benefit your dependent is using. Please go to this website for more information: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill. There is a FAQ section on the right-handed side.
Who should my dependent ask for when they call the Veteran Center?
All of the Veteran Center front-desk staff are either veterans or dependents using benefits themselves, so they are a great resource and have all been trained on all chapters of the GI bill. If for some reason they are unable to address your dependent’s issue, they will involve a professional staff member to assist.
Dependent must certify every semester they wish to use benefits
The Veteran Center can not certify you if your GPA falls below a 2.0. During that time you will need to find an alternate way to pay for schooling
E-benefits account will show payments, entitlements remaining, pending payments- The Veteran Center will not know
VA phone # for benefit related information: 1-888-GIBILL-1
Veteran Center phone 850.412.5843 Veteran Center email: firstname.lastname@example.org Veteran Center website: http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?MilitaryandVeteranAffairs
The student is the ONLY person our staff can discuss information with unless we have a signed FERPA on file.