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Reserve Education Assistance Program - Chapter 1607

What is REAP?

REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Regan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is a new Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security will determine who is eligible for this program. The Department of Veterans Affairs will administer the program and pay benefits from funds contributed by DOD.

Who qualifies for REAP?

The Secretaries of each military service, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) will determine eligibility and establish the program to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserves of the armed forces who are called to duty for 90 days or more. Members may be eligible after serving 90 consecutive days on active duty after September 11, 2001.

How much does the REAP benefit pay monthly?

See new changes to the GI Bill for Reservists and National Guard Personnel

80% Rate for REAP based on aggregate service of 3 or more years.

The monthly REAP payment is based on the amount of time you are mobilized for. Prior to this legislation the monthly payment was determined as follows:

The benefit payable under REAP is a percentage of the Chapter 30 three-year or more enlistment rate ($1,101.00 since 10/1/07) click here for rates based on the number of days of continuous service on active duty.

  • If you serve 90 days but less than 1 year, you will receive 40% of the three-year rate.
  • A service period of 1 year but less than 2 years of active duty will pay 60% of the three-year rate.
  • A service period of more than 2 years on active duty will result in an 80% payment of the three-year rate.

The new legislation has made the 80% rate available to anyone who was mobilized for at least 2 continuous years of active duty OR served multiple mobilizations totaling 3 years or more. All qualifying mobilization periods beginning on or after 9/11/2001 may be used to determine eligibility for the 80% rate.

Payment of the higher rate is not authorized prior to January 28, 2008, the effective date of the law.

How much entitlement will I get under REAP?

You will receive 36 months of full time entitlement at your given rate. A REAP participant may not use more than 48 months of entitlement under any combination of VA Educational programs.

For example, if you've already used 20 months of Chapter 1606, you will only receive 28 months of REAP.

How long do I have to use benefits under REAP?

You may use your benefits under REAP as long as you remain within your component. Benefits must be terminated if you leave the Reserves or participate in a ROTC program under Title 10 Section 2107.

What about members released for disability?

Members released early for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty may receive REAP benefits at the 40% rate. If you are released for disability, you are entitled to REAP benefits for 10 years from your date of eligibility.

Can I receive REAP benefits concurrently with another MGIB benefit?

No, you must make an irrevocable election as to which program you will apply your time on active duty. You also cannot receive assistance under more than one VA Education program at one time. If you are eligible for a Chapter 1606 kicker, you can still be paid that kicker while receiving REAP.

What education programs are approved under REAP?

All education programs are payable with REAP, with the exception of:

  • National Examination / Testing Reimbursement
  • Licensing and Certification
  • Accelerated Pay
Can I apply for REAP now?

Yes.

VA Regional Processing Office in Muskogee, OK is accepting applications and supporting documents for REAP claims. If you have never applied for benefits before, complete VA Form 1990 and write "REAP" in section one. If you are already eligible for VA Education benefits under another program, submit VA Form 1995 and notate that you now wish to convert to Chapter 1607 - REAP. Copies of these forms can be obtained on the Veteran Services Forms and Downloads page. Submit copies of all DD 214s and copies of all orders for the period(s) you will use to claim eligibility.

Which benefit should I use or election date should I choose?

Veterans eligible for REAP will most likely also be eligible for Chapter 1606. The REAP program pays a bit more than Chapter 1606. You must weigh the benefits of retroactively electing REAP with the benefits of using it for future training.

The Muskogee Regional Processing Office is not requesting an election date. Benefits will be awarded retroactive to the eligibility date shown on a REAP computer interface VA has with the Department of Defense. The election can be submitted via the Veterans Administration website.

$600 Buy-up Program

Some reservists may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5400 in additional GI Bill benefits. You must be a member of a Ready Reserve component (Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, or Inactive National Guard) to pay into the "buy-up" program. For more information contact your personnel or payroll office. For a listing of the increased monthly rates, see the GI Bill Website.

How can I get more information about REAP?

Visit the REAP Questions and Answers web page. Or Call toll free 1-888-GI-BILL-1 [(888) 442-4551] .

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