Some individuals will remain eligible for REAP benefits until Nov. 25, 2019, while others are no longer eligible for REAP benefits. The Post-9/11 GI Bill in many ways has replaced REAP because it also provides educational assistance benefits for Reserve and National Guard members called to active duty on or after September 11, 2001, and in many cases provides a greater benefit than REAP. VA is committed to ensuring that Reservists, National Guard members, and Veterans understand this change, and we are actively working to identify individuals who no longer have eligibility for REAP and inform them of potential eligibility to other benefit programs.
This change affects beneficiaries differently:
Current REAP beneficiaries -- Veterans who were attending an educational institution on Nov. 24, 2015, or during the last semester, quarter, or term ending prior to that date, are eligible to continue to receive REAP benefits until Nov. 25, 2019.
REAP beneficiaries not attending school -- Veterans who applied for REAP but were not attending an educational institution on Nov. 24, 2015, or during the last semester, quarter, or term ending prior to that date are no longer eligible to receive REAP benefits.
The attached PDF is the
DoD policy on the REAP sunset. There is
no new information in this policy but it is the official policy on the REAP sunset
signed by the Principle Deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manpower and
Reserve Affairs (ASA M&RA).
The attached Word Doc
is guidance from the DoD Office of General
Counsel (OGC) regarding refund eligibility for the REAP Buy Up
Program. This will help answer
questions you may encounter from Soldiers who paid into the REAP Buy Up who may
be eligible for a refund. The GI Bill
Support Team (GIBST) is currently assisting several Soldiers obtain their REAP
Buy Up refunds. Any questions regarding
a REAP Buy Up refund should be addressed directly to the GIBST at
As a reminder, REAP
will end on 25 November, 2019. Soldiers
who are currently eligible may have their eligibility expired, suspended, or
terminated prior to the REAP end date if they:
-ETS and transfer to
the IRR (Suspended) -Separate from the IRR (Terminated) -Reach their 10-year
delimiting date (Expired)
Be advised, DoD is in
process of pursuing a legislative change for Soldiers with only one period of
qualifying service after August 1, 2011 to convert remaining months to the
Post/9-11 GI Bill. We will keep you
posted if/when that legislation is approved.
Many of these Veterans may be eligible to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
New REAP applicants – Veterans who have not enrolled in school and applied for REAP benefits prior to Nov. 25, 2015, are no longer eligible for REAP benefits. However, in most cases, those Veterans will be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
1. Who will be
able to continue to receive REAP benefits?
Veterans who were enrolled at an educational institution
on November 24, 2015, or who were eligible for REAP benefits during their
school’s last semester, quarter, or term completed prior to that date, may
continue to receive REAP benefits through November 25, 2019.
2. How does this affect Veterans who elected to use REAP?
Those who have qualifying National Guard or Reserve
service that began prior to August 1, 2011, may use those same periods of
active duty service to establish eligibility for educational assistance under
the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, if a Veteran’s only period of qualifying
service began on or after August 1, 2011, and the Veteran previously used that service
to establish eligibility for REAP benefits, it is possible the individual no
longer qualifies for VA educational assistance unless the individual was
enrolled on November 24, 2015, or in their school’s last term, quarter, or
semester ending prior to that date.
3. What does VA mean by “remaining period of qualifying
If the period of service used to qualify for REAP started
before Aug. 1, 2011, that same period of service may be used to qualify for
Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, if the period of service used to qualify for REAP
started on or after Aug. 1, 2011, and the individual used that service to
establish eligibility for REAP, that same period of service may not now be used
to qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill.
4. What does VA mean by “attending school during the last
semester, quarter, or term completed prior to Nov. 24, 2015”?
In most cases, a Veteran must have been enrolled in and
attending an educational or training program as of Nov. 24, 2015, to continue
to receive REAP benefits. However, the law also provides that if the Veteran
was enrolled in their school’s last term, quarter, or semester ending prior to
November 24, 2015, the Veteran will be eligible to continue to receive REAP
5. How many beneficiaries used REAP in 2014?
In fiscal year (FY) 2014, nearly 14,000 Veterans used
6. What percent of total education beneficiaries make up
REAP beneficiaries accounted for 1.3 percent of all VA
education beneficiaries in FY 2014.
7. How much assistance was REAP beneficiaries receiving
REAP participants received, on average, just over $4,000
during FY 2014.
8. How much did VA pay in REAP benefits in FY 2014?
During FY 2014, VA paid approximately $56 million in REAP
benefits to approximately14, 000 Veterans.
9. What options do those who will not continue to qualify
for REAP have for educational assistance?
Those who have a period of qualifying service after Sept.
10, 2001 may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. When an individual submits
an application for REAP and is determined no longer eligible, VA will evaluate
his/her eligibility for all benefit programs (for example, the Post-9/11 GI
Bill) and award benefits under a different program if determined eligible.
10. How is VA getting the word out to REAP beneficiaries?
VA is using letters, emails, and a social media
campaign to inform Veterans of the changes to REAP and the steps VA is taking
to assist affected Veterans in determining their eligibility for another
education program if no longer eligible for REAP. Additionally, VA is working
with the Department of Defense and the National Guard and Reserve Force Policy
Board and State Veterans Affairs agencies to inform REAP beneficiaries.