FAQs


What will my benefits cover?


All federal benefits will pay a monthly stipend depending on how many classes are certifiable by our office (full-time, ¾ time, ½ time, ¼ time or less). Go to www.gibill.va.gov for current payout rates and descriptions of the all available educational benefits. Chapter 33 (POST 9/11) and Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehab) both pay additional benefits.

Chapter 33 includes a housing and book stipend paid to the student as well as in-state tuition paid directly to UAB.  The amount varies on the eligibility of the student which can range from 40% - 100% depending on the amount of service and type of discharge.

Chapter 31 includes tuition payments (not limited to in-state tuition) and also a supplies stipend which can cover books, computers and other needed supplies.  Your Vocational Rehab case manager can explain further limitations.

What do I do to receive my benefits every semester?


Certification is not processed automatically every semester. You must request to use your benefits online by logging on using your Blazer ID and password. This should be done each semester once you have registered for classes.

Will my benefits cover placement tests?


Under Chapter 33, you can be reimbursed for certain national exams needed for admissions. These include SAT, ACT, GMAT, and LSAT.

Will my benefits cover my graduation fee?


For Chapter 33 recipients, Veterans Affairs (VA) will submit to UAB the amount of the graduation fee up to the percentage you are eligible. This does not include cap and gown purchase or rental.

Will my benefits pay for a certificate program?


Yes. Veterans Affairs (VA) will pay for any certificate program as long as it is listed as an approved program on the WEAMS website.

Will the Veteran Affairs (VA) pay for a double major or minor?


Yes. VA will pay for any program listed as an approved program for UAB on the WEAMS website.

Will my benefits cover my orientation fee?


No.

Will my benefits cover parking?


No.

Can I apply for federal financial aid while receiving GIBill benefits?


Yes. Go to uab.edu/financialaid for more information.

I was certified by your office. When will I get paid?


Veteran Affairs (VA) takes approximately 4 weeks to process a claim. If you have not received notice or payment from VA after this time, you may contact VA directly at 1-888-442-4551 to verify if payment has been processed.

Veterans Affairs (VA) has indicated my benefits are exhausted. What do I do now?


You should contact VA to make sure there is no mistake in your records. If your benefits have extinguished, you are still responsible for your student account balance.

Can I receive benefits from past semesters of attendance?


Veterans Affairs (VA) will process back pay for up to a year or more depending on your benefits and when you became eligible for your benefits. You can contact our office to process your back pay.

I live in on-campus housing. Why didn’t UAB receive a housing payment from Veterans Affairs (VA)?


VA does not pay UAB the housing allowance. The housing allowance and book stipend under Chapter 33 are paid directly to the student and it is up to the student to pay UAB for housing charges.

Can I attend more than one school while using my educational benefits?


Yes. You must furnish a Parent School Letter provided by your home institution’s certifying official to UAB’s certifying official. The Parent School Letter will confirm that the classes taken at UAB will apply to the degree program being pursued at the home institution.

How can I determine how many months of benefits I have remaining?


For Chapter 30 and Chapter 1606 recipients, you can check online via WAVE, or call the 1-888-442-4551 helpline. For all other benefits, you should call the 1-888-442-4551 helpline.

Will my benefits pay for me to have a tutor?


Yes, tutorial assistance is available if you’re receiving VA educational assistance at the half-time or higher rate and have a deficiency in a subject that makes tutoring necessary. You can be reimbursed up to $100 per month up to a maximum of $1200.

To apply for tutorial assistance you must complete the Application for Individualized Tutorial Assistance form. The UAB certifying official and tutor must both sign the form.

How do I update my address and/or direct deposit information?


To update your direct deposit or address online:
  1. Log on to WAVE.
  2. On the main menu page once you have logged in, click the link to the left that says "Direct Deposit Enrollment Form" or "Change of Address" depending on what you need to do. Both procedures can be completed online.

To update your Direct Deposit or address by phone:
  1. Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

What are mitigating circumstances?


If you drop a course or withdraw from school after the drop period and receive a non-punitive grade, VA will reduce benefits effective the first day of the term unless mitigating circumstances are found. Mitigating circumstances are circumstances beyond the student's control that prevent the student from continuing in school or that cause the student to reduce credits.

Examples are:
  • An illness or injury afflicting the student during the enrollment period.
  • An illness or death in the student’s immediate family.
  • An unavoidable change in the student’s conditions of employment.
  • An unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from the student’s employment.
  • Immediate family or financial obligations beyond the control of the claimant that require him or her to suspend pursuit of the program of education to obtain employment.
  • Discontinuance of the course by the school.
  • Unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training.
  • Unanticipated difficulties with childcare arrangements the student has made for the period during which he or she is attending classes.

Are veteran benefits taxable?


No. Any veteran’s benefits paid under any law administered by Veterans Affairs (VA) should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.

What if I am deployed in the middle of the semester? Will I need to re-apply for admissions?


No. If you furnish your military orders to our office, you will be granted a military leave of absence until you return. You will be withdrawn from all your classes and any refunds due to you will be given. Please contact our office after you receive your orders for further advising.

I’m having difficulty. Are there counseling services available?


The UAB Counseling & Wellness Center offers no cost, confidential counseling related to personal growth, human development and interpersonal relationships. Our services are available to all currently-enrolled UAB students. Many of the counselors are experienced with PTSD and TBI. http://www.uab.edu/students/services/student-engagement/item/826

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.