If you fall under the following VA educational programs, then you must verify your school attendance on or after the last calendar day of each month in order to receive your benefit check:
- Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – Chapter 30
- MGIB – Selected Reserves – Chapter 1606
- MGIB – Reserves Educational Assistance Program (REAP) – Chapter 1607
Two ways to verify your class attendance:
- Call the toll-free Interactive Voice Response System at 1-877-823-2378
- Use the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE)
First Time WAVE Users - Please review the WAVE User Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I unable to log into WAVE?
In order to log into WAVE you must have an active record, or have had award activity on your account in the last 12 months. If you have started attending school and the school has submitted an enrollment certification, as soon as it is processed your WAVE record will be active. At that point you will receive an award letter with information on verifying your attendance.
How do you receive monthly payments?
After selecting a school and submitting your application to VA, ask the school official to complete an enrollment certification. The school official will send the enrollment certification to the appropriate VA Regional Processing Office. If you have basic eligibility for benefits, and your program or course is approved, VA will process your enrollment based the dates and number of hours the school official submits.
If you are in a degree program at a college or university, or a certificate or diploma program at a business, technical, or vocational school, you will not receive payment until you have verified your attendance. Your enrollment can be verified starting on the last calendar day of the month by using our Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) by calling our toll free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at 1-877-823-2378.
NOTE: The WAVE and IVR systems do not update account information instantly. Instead, verifications and other submissions are stored and processed manually. Due to system procedures, it may take 2-3 workdays for the WAVE and IVR systems to reflect updates to your account. Thank you for your patience.
The law prohibits schools from cashing VA checks under a power of attorney agreement.
What should I do if I do not receive a check?
If you attend school, you must verify your enrollment for each month by using the WAVE or IVR system.
Remember that you cannot be paid for a month until the month is over and you verify that you were still in attendance for that month.
WAVE and the telephone Interactive Voice Response Systems require at least three workdays to process and update the system. Both systems process data every workday, but it sometimes takes some additional time before they are updated to reflect the new information. Checks are mailed after processing.
Please note, If you have a checking or savings account, Direct Deposit is a simple, safe option for receiving your education benefits. Also, errors involving Direct Deposit can be corrected more quickly than a check can be reissued.
If you have allowed sufficient time, and you still have not received a check or direct deposit, contact your RPO by using the "Ask a Question" tab in the "Questions and Answers" section of the GI BILL web site.
Can I receive payments by Direct Deposit?
Payments by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer are strongly encouraged. Payments are sent directly to your savings or checking account. To establish or change your direct deposit information, click on the "Direct Deposit Enrollment Form" link after you have logged into WAVE. Changes and enrollments are usually processed the next business day.
Change of address
Promptly notify VA of any change in your address. Click on the "Change Address" link after you have logged into WAVE. Changes are usually processed the next business day.
What should I do if there is a change in my enrollment?
If you change your enrollment, immediately tell the certifying official at your school. Request that the certifying official notify the appropriate VA RPO of the change. Also, notify your RPO by using the "Ask a Question" tab in the "Questions and Answers" section of the GI BILL web site. If VA does not receive prompt notice of a change, you could be liable for an overpayment of benefits.
NOTE: School employees who process VA forms are not VA employees.
What happens if I change my enrollment?
If you withdraw from one or more of your courses after the end of the school's drop period, VA may reduce or stop your benefits on the date of reduction or withdrawal. If you withdraw from a course after the end of the drop period, you may have to repay all benefits for the course unless you can show that the change was due to mitigating circumstances. VA defines "mitigating circumstances" as unavoidable and unexpected events that directly interfere with your pursuit of a course and are beyond your control.
Examples of reasons VA may accept are:
- Extended illness;
- Severe illness or death in your immediate family;
- Unscheduled changes in your employment; and
- Lack of child care.
Examples of reasons VA may not accept are:
- Withdrawal to avoid a failing grade;
- Dislike of the instructor; and
- Too many courses attempted.
NOTE: VA may ask you to furnish evidence to support your reason for a change.
If a serious injury or illness caused the change, obtain a statement from your doctor.
If a change in employment caused the change, obtain a statement from your employer.
The first time you withdraw from up to six credit hours, VA will "excuse" the withdrawal and pay benefits for the period attended. Remember, this only applies to your first withdrawal. If you receive a grade that does not count toward graduation, you may have to repay all benefits for the course.
You should check your school's grading policy with the registrar or the office handling VA paperwork. The school may have "non-punitive grades." VA defines "non-punitive grades" as those not used to compute graduation requirements.
Common examples are:
- An "I" grade for an incomplete which is not made up during the time period required by the school or within one year from receipt;
- A "W" grade for withdrawing;
- An "AU" grade for auditing; or
- Any grade the school does not use to compute the GPA (grade point average) or its equivalent.
If you receive a non-punitive grade, the school will notify VA. Upon receipt of the notice, VA may reduce or stop benefits. You may not have to repay the benefits if you can show that the grades were due to mitigating circumstances.
What if my question is not answered here?
The "Questions and Answers" section of the GI BILL web site provides a wide range of questions and answers. If you are still not able to find the answer to your question, you may contact the RPO directly by using the "Ask a Question" tab in the "Questions and Answers" section.
Student Veteran Specialist
Veteran Education Coordinator & School Certifying Official
Phone: (315) 792-5326
Fax: (315) 792-5696
Monday - Friday
08:30 - 16:30