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FAQ

What if I am classified as a non-resident?

The VA does not cover non-resident fees. Unless you qualify for reclassification or a waiver, you will be responsible for the difference between the resident and non-resident rate. Possible options for reclassification/waivers include:

  • If you have been living in CA for at least one year and one day prior to the start of the term, please submit the Statement of Residency form with two approved proofs dated at least one year and one day prior to the term start (more information here).
  • If you attended High School in CA for at least 3 years and graduated, please submit the AB540 form with Official High School Transcripts (must be sealed and/or come directly to OCC from the High School).
  • If you the veteran and are eligible for benefits under CH 30, 33, or 31, reside in CA, and have separated from the military within the past three years, please submit the VACA form, one CA residency proof, and your DD214 and COE (if not already submitted).
    • If you are using CH 31 and past the three-year window, VRE may elect to cover these fees; please get approval from your VRE case manager.
  • If you are the dependent and are eligible for CH 33T benefits, reside in CA, and the veteran is Active Duty or separated within the past three years, please submit the VACA, one CA residency proof, and the veteran's DD214 or active military ID.
  • If you are the dependent and you are eligible for Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, reside in CA, please submit the VACA, one VA residency proof, and COE (if not already submitted).
  • If you are the veteran and your DD214 Home of Record is CA, please submit the Statement of Residency form with a photo ID for further review.


When will my benefits be effective?

The effective date of benefits will depend on the effective date you declared on your 22-1990 or VONAPP application for benefits. In most cases, 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.

 

How long will it take to process my benefit application?

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. Our office makes every effort to process certifications within 5 business days.

 

When do I get paid?

Once the School Certifying Official (SCO) 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 for the previous month's attendance.

 

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 meet with the veteran counselor to update your Student Education Plan and provide a copy to Veteran Services to complete additional change of major paperwork.

 

Which classes at OCC qualify for certification for benefits?

Courses required for 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. At this time, stand-alone certificate programs are not eligible to be certified for benefits. All degree programs, with the exception of Aviation Science, are eligible.

 

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

Yes. Contact OCC's Veterans 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 BAH or monthly stipend?

No. All VA benefits are non-taxable.