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Applying for Benefits

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Apply early! The certification process can take the VA up to three months.

Under current laws and regulations governing institutions approved for training of veterans and their dependents, certain documents will need to be on file prior to certification of enrollment for educational assistance purposes. You can’t be certified without submitting all required documentation.

A veteran using Montgomery GI Bill-AD (CH30) or Post 9/11 GI Bill (CH33) who lives in North Carolina (regardless of legal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a qualifying period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

Anyone using transferred CH33 Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (TOE) who lives in North Carolina (regardless of legal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a qualifying period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

A spouse or child using benefits under the CH33 Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (FRY) who lives in North Carolina (regardless of legal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the servicemember’s death in the line of duty, following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

Individuals who initially meet the requirements above will maintain covered status as long as they are using Post-9/11 GI Bill (CH33) or Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD CH30) benefits and remain continuously enrolled at the same institution of higher learning, even if they are outside the three-year window or change programs. Once a student changes schools they are no longer covered under Section 702.

Continuity of enrollment isn’t broken by regularly scheduled breaks between classes, semesters or terms. You don’t have to enroll in summer sessions to maintain continuous enrollment.

Neither active duty individuals, nor their dependents using TOE while the transferor is on active duty, are considered covered individuals under Section 702.

You may request advance payment when initially entering College of The Albemarle (COA) or enter a new term after an absence from school of at least 30 days. You’ll need to be enrolled at least half-time and request the advance at least six weeks before the term begins.

You’ll receive advance pay for the first two months of the term, which means that you’ll receive no more GI Bill money until the end of the third month of school. Once you register, you’ll be contacted when your check is ready for pick up.

You may experience a reduction in the dollar amount or total loss of your monthly benefit if you drop or withdraw a class, or otherwise reduce the number of credit hours you’re taking.

Please immediately notify the registrar of any changes to your course load during a current term, or at the time you register for your next term.

GI Bill monthly benefits are tax-free and should not be reported as income for either federal or state income taxes.

You’ll receive full benefits if you are a full-time student taking 12 or more credit hours (special prorated rules apply for the summer term). Fewer than six credit hours is considered less than half time.

If you’re registered for less than a half-time course load, you won’t receive a monthly check. Instead, you’ll receive tuition and fees in the amount of tuition you paid for the term, not to exceed your half-time amount.

Your monthly benefit payment may be delivered by check or by direct deposit into your bank account. If this is your first enrollment at COA, your first check will not arrive until eight to 10 weeks after all transcripts have been received by COA and you’ve registered for classes.

If your check doesn’t arrive on time and you are Chapters 30, 1606 or 1607, you may not have verified your attendance at the end of the month. If you don’t verify, you won’t be paid.

To verify, call 877-823-2378. If you didn’t get paid or received the wrong amount, call 888-442-4551 or visit and click the “Submit a Question” button. If you’re Chapter 31, please call 800-827-1000.

Dropping a class that reduces your credit hours could result in an overpayment to you, requiring that you return some or all of the GI Bill money received during the term. If it’s necessary to reduce your school workload, please notify the registrar right away for advice on how to proceed.

The law requires the VA to retrieve all GI Bill benefits paid to you for a class which has a grade assigned that cannot be used to compute your grade-point average (GPA), including W, WF, WP, NA, X, AU and drop.

If you withdraw from or drop a class and it affects your rate of GI Bill payment, you must return all the money paid to you from the start of the term, not merely from the day you drop, unless you provide a mitigating circumstances statement to the VA. If accepted, you’ll only be required to repay any money received after the last day that you attended class.

The VA will expect you to repay the overpayment amount promptly. If you don’t, the VA may:

  • Add interest and collection fees to your debt.
  • Refer your debt to a private collection agency.
  • Withhold future benefits.


Veterans Checklist of Required Documents

Veterans benefits registration form

VA benefits

Visit the eBenefits website for the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). If you’re having trouble with the application process, please call a VA education case manager at 888-GIB-ill1 for assistance.

VA benefits application form


  • Steward, Melinda

  • Administrative Assistant/Registrar Technician

  • Elizabeth City Campus: AE 127

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2218