LVMAC Tidbit: This is Not a Scam — You May Be Owed a VA Educational Refund

Published by Rich Hudzinski on

If you served during  the Post-Vietnam Era, you may have made what was called Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) contributions while you were in service , the 401K of DoD’s educational offerings at the time — no Forever GI Bill for you. But you may of never used it or all of it. Finally, there may be some good news for you.

In general, these veterans had ten years from their date of discharge to use their education benefits. Some no longer eligible for the use of the Montgomery GI Bill still have unused contributions and are entitled to a refund.

Indeed, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Service, which administers the program, recently determined there are approximately 96,000 military veterans who may be eligible for a refund of their unused Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) contributions totaling up to $2,700.  Unfortunately, it only has the needed contact information for 25% of them.

If the situation applies to you,  it may be worth to you or your loved ones to reach out to the VA to request a refund.

Conditions apply:

  • Entered Active Duty between 01/01/77 to 06/30/85
  • Contributed to VEAP while on active duty and before 4/01/87
  • Not used all their contributions
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged
  • Completed 24 months of continuous service or have been discharged early due to:
    • Convenience of the government within three months of the end of their enlistment (an “early out” under Title 10, Section 1171)
    • Hardship (under Title 10, Section 1173)
    • Service-connected disability (this includes those rated for a compensable service-connected disability even if they were not discharged for that disability)

What should you do?

If you have unused VEAP funds, you should submit VA Form 22-5281after completing sections 1-6, 14, 15, and 18. It will take 3-4 weeks to receive a response and/or refund via U.S Treasury check.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a refund or whether you participated in VEAP, you can call the Education Call Center at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442 4551), Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT.

Or,  simply contact an accredited Veterans Service Officer for advice and guidance.


As of 30 January 2024