College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York
 
  
Military

Veterans Support Services
 Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I see on my campus about resources for students who are veterans?

Each CUNY college has appointed a veterans affairs representative to address the needs of veterans on campus.  College of Staten Island has two offices dedicated to serving veteran students: Veterans Support Services (VSS) and Veteran Educational Transition Services (VETS).  Veterans Support Services assist and respond to the needs of students who have served in the Armed Forces providing information regarding education and financial aid benefits, academic advisement, professional development workshops, readjustment counseling and referrals when needed.  VSS can be reached at (718)982-3108 Mon-Fri 9-5PM in the Campus Center Building 1C Room 219.  The Veteran Educational Transition Services certify student veterans in order to ensure they are receiving appropriate educational and financial aid benefits and can be reached at (718) 982-2140 Mon-Fri 9-5PM Building 2A Room 110.

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How do I know if I am eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational assistance?

You may be eligible for VA educational assistance if: A) You are on, or were on active duty for at least two years, and received any honorably characterized discharge; B) You have a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserves, and remain in good standing with your reserve unit; or C) You are a spouse or child of a veteran who died or was totally disabled while in military service. The College of Staten Island’s Veteran Support Services and Veterans Educational Transition Services can help you determine eligibility.

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How do I start my VA educational assistance benefits at the college?

Read How to Apply for Benefits section.

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Do I have to reapply for benefits if I am transferring into CUNY?

No, you do not have to reapply. Once you have applied and have received benefits at another institution, you need only complete a form to change your place of training and a brief personal data form. This can be done through your campus's veterans affairs representative.

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Will the benefit check be sent to CUNY?

No, the educational benefit checks are sent directly to the veteran or dependent, but arrangements can be made for direct deposit, which can be requested when you apply for benefits. Direct deposit is available for all programs except for Chapter 35 educational assistance.

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How long will it take to receive my benefits?

First-time applicants should expect to have to wait at least 6 to 8 weeks from the time the enrollment certification is sent before payment is received. Continuing students will be processed quicker provided there have not been any changes in program or address. Keep in mind that Chapter 35 Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA) and Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) certifications are not processed until the first day of the enrollment period even though the certification may have been received by the VA Regional Office earlier.

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Are VA educational benefits taxable?

No, veteran's benefits, paid under any law and administered by the VA should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

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I receive Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) or Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) educational benefits and have to verify my enrollment each month. How do I do that?

Anyone receiving Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) or Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) benefits must verify their enrollment each month to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive payment for that month. Your enrollment can be verified on the last calendar day of the month by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system or by calling the toll free, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line, at 1-877-823-2378.

Paper verification forms (VA Forms 22-8979) will no longer be issued for students receiving Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) benefits.

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Do students receiving Chapter 35 educational assistance need to verify their enrollment each month?

No, dependents or spouses receiving educational assistance under Chapter 35 do not have to verify their enrollment to the VA each month.

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Can I arrange for direct deposit at any time?

Yes, Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) and Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) recipients may request the direct deposit option by completing VA Form 22-0296.

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How can I update my address or financial institution information for direct deposit?

If you are currently receiving benefits, or have received benefits in the last year, you can use the WAVE system to update your address or your financial institution information. Visit the G.I. Bill WAVE page, and follow the instructions to log-on to WAVE. Follow the links to change your address and your direct deposit information on the "Main Menu" page of WAVE.

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What happens if I drop a course during the semester?

If you drop a course and the adjustment changes your training time you must notify the Veterans Educational Transition Services at (718) 982-2140 so that they can inform the VA of a change in training time. This must be done even if you have already notified the VA on the WAVE system. A change in training time will affect your rate of payment, and failure to notify your college's veterans affairs representative in a timely manner could result in an overpayment that you are required to pay back.


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What happens if I am activated during the semester?

If you are activated during a semester, you have a number of options open to you depending upon the length of the deployment. You should first discuss this situation with your advisor and instructors to help you decide upon a course of action. The options available to you would range from special arrangements for make-up work, to an incomplete grade, to withdrawal from a course or semester. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would pay you educational assistance benefits up to the date you withdraw or resign from a course or semester. For more information see Returning or Leaving for Active Duty.

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If I am a member of the New York State Air/Army National Guard or New York State Naval Militia and wish to participate in the Educational Incentive Plan that pays for my tuition at any CUNY college, do I apply at a college office?

No, you must apply through your unit for the New York State Educational Incentive Plan using DMNA Form 96-1. You can then obtain a Tuition Deferment, and must inform the bursar that the NYS Department of Military & Naval Affairs will be making payments.

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Is it possible to attain college credit for military service?

Veterans who are matriculating students may earn up to 18 credits in United States Armed Forces Institute courses, in which they have passed final exams, and for other military education and training. The decision regarding the granting of credit for these courses reside with the individual colleges.

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Are there any academic support services available to students who are veterans?

Some veterans are eligible for tutorial benefits. In order to be eligible for tutorial benefits, veterans must be receiving monthly veteran's benefits on at least a half-time basis. Such veteran students are entitled to 12 months of tutorial benefits to a maximum of $100.00 per month. Contact your veterans affairs representative for additional information.


In addition to college work-study, are there any work-study programs designed to assist veterans?

Students may be eligible for Veteran's Work-Study benefits. In order to be eligible, students must be receiving full-time veterans benefits. Such students can work up to 750 hours per year at a rate of at least the federal minimum wage. Your veterans affairs representative will arrange your work-study if you are eligible.

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Are all dependents of veterans eligible to receive educational benefits?

No, only dependents who are eligible for Chapter 35, Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program are may be considered for benefits. Chapter 35 provides educational assistance to the spouses and children of veterans who died while on active duty or were totally disabled due to their military experience. Eligibility questions can be directed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Are any services available to veterans with disabilities?

Vocational Rehabilitation services are available through the VA for veterans with disabilities. Vocational Rehabilitation Services are available to full- and part-time students who have at least a 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These services include payment for tuition, fees and a monthly stipend. In addition, reasonable accommodations and support services are available to veterans with disabilities through your college's Office of Disability Services.

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Are any benefits or services available to the dependants of disabled veterans?

There are several federal and state programs available to dependants of disabled veterans. For more information contact Veterans Support Services at (718) 982-3108 or Veteran Educational Transition Services at (718) 982-2140.

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