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Frequently Asked Questions
Bring a copy of your VA Form DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) or, if applicable, VA Form 2384-1 (Notice of Basic Eligibility - NOBE). Also, your Certificate of Eligibility if mailed to you from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
 

When will my benefits be effective?

Benefits will be effective the first day of the term being certified and you will receive retroactive benefits from the Veterans Administration once that office has processed your certification.
 

Who do I see for academic counseling?

Orange Coast College has several academic counselors designated specifically to assist veteran students using their VA educational benefits. New students without any college credits may schedule 1-hr counseling/orientation appointments through Veterans Services. Students with prior college credits will need to schedule their own appointments with one of the following VA-designated academic counselors: Carol Barnes, Dianne Keegan, Nickie Jackson, Denia Guillen, Eli Marron, Ben Figueroa, or Jessica Nguyen.
 
The Counseling Department opens at 8AM. To make an appointment, you may call 714-432-5078, go online, or walk-in (Watson Hall 3rd floor) on Thursdays only. You will be given an appointment for the following week. After meeting with your counselor, you will need to bring a copy of your Student Education Plan (SEP) to Veteran Services.
 **Before meeting with a counselor, all students must both:
1) complete Math & English Assessment Testing
2) have official transcripts from all previous colleges evaluated.











How long will it take before I receive my monthly benefit?

Once you file your initial application for education benefits and the VA establishes a file on your behalf, subsequent processing usually takes 30 to 45 days. Peak periods, such as the start of the semester may cause a longer processing time.
 

How do I receive my benefits?

Once the Veterans Affairs Certifying Official (VACO) certifies your classes, the student must attend class for the calendar month. After the last day of each month, you will receive your monthly benefit from the VA via U.S. Mail or direct deposit.
 

Why do I need to declare a major?

The Department of Veterans Affairs requires the declaration of an educational objective (major) or goal.
 

Can I change my major?

Yes. You will need to inform OCC's Veterans Affairs Certifying Official of your intent to change your major and complete a VA Form 22-1995.
 

Which classes at OCC qualify for certification for benefits?

Courses required for Certificates of Achievement, general education classes, lower division major classes and electives (if needed) qualify for benefits. In some cases, prerequisites and/or remedial courses in preparation for lower division courses also qualify for benefits. You are not paid for classes you have already completed with a passing grade or those not required for your declared major.
 

I dropped a class this term.  Is there anything I need to do?

Yes. Contact OCC's Verterans Affairs Certifying Official as soon as you have dropped the class.  An adjustment must be made to your certification. Failure to contact the Veterans Affairs Certifying Official could lead to an overpayment situation. The VA will require the repayment of any benefits paid in excess.
 

I still haven't received my G.I. Bill monies. Who do I speak to?

Any concerns regarding G.I. Bill monies should be directed to the Department of Veteran Affairs at 1-888-442-4551. Normal receipt of monies is each following month, which means, if you attend classes in September, you should expect to receive monies in October. Note: Typical processing time of new applications is six to eight weeks. New G.I. Bill applicants should expect delivery of their monies to reflect that processing time. OCC Veteran Services does not have or issue any DVA monies.
 

Do I have to pay taxes on my G.I. Bill benefits?

No. All VA benefits are non-taxable.
 

Does OCC participate in the VA Work-Study Program?

Yes. OCC also works with a number of agencies throughout Orange County to help secure employment for veteran students.
 

Is there a student club for veteran students?

Yes. Student Veterans Group of Orange Coast College is a great way for you to stay connected with your peers.