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Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

REAP (Chapter 1607) is a Department of Defense/VA 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. Not what your looking for? View Reserve Tuition Assistance instead or return to Military Education Guide or view Top Military Reserve Schools

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The Department of Veterans Affairs will administer the program and pay benefits from funds contributed by Department of Defense. However, the DoD and Department of Homeland Security will determine eligibility.

Chapter 1607 benefits cannot be used with other VA educational benefits. You must make an irrevocable election choosing which program you want your military service to count towards. However, if you are eligible for a Chapter 1606 kicker (College Fund), you can still be paid that kicker while receiving Chapter 1607.

REAP benefits are potentially payable from December 9, 2001 (90 days after September 11, 2001) for persons who were serving on a contingency operation on September 11, 2001 and who were in school on December 9, 2001. The Department of Defense may provide further guidance as to the retroactive nature of this program.

Note: "Contingency operations" as defined in title 10 U.S. Code means "Military operations that are designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the armed forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against opposing military force; or results in the call or order to, or retention on active duty of members of the uniformed services..."

The Benefit Amount
The payment amount for REAP is determined by the number of days you were activated. Each year in October REAP payment rates increase to meet the growing cost of education. Although the past years have seen increases in the payment rates, this year eligible members of the Guard and Reserve who receive REAP benefits will see their benefits increase by 20% - up to $1056, 80 per month. In addition, this year's increase goes into effect in August.

Time Reserve Member Serves on Active Duty                   Full-Time Rate (EFF. Aug. 1, 2008)                      
90 days but less than one year $528.40
One year but less than two years $792.60
Two years or more $1056.80

Note: Reduced rates will apply for correspondence, flight, apprenticeship/OJT and licensing and certification training.

Eligibility
A member of a reserve component who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10 U.S. Code for a contingency operation and who serves at least 90 consecutive days or more is eligible for chapter 1607.

National Guard members are also eligible if their active duty is under section 502(f), title 32 U.S.C. and they serve for 90 consecutive days when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency and is supported by federal funds.

Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach the 90-day point whether or not they are currently on active duty. DoD will fully identify contingency operations that qualify for benefits under chapter 1607.

Disabled members who have an illness or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and are released before completing 90 consecutive days, are also eligible.

How to Apply
The VA Regional Processing Offices in Atlanta, St. Louis, Buffalo, N.Y. and Muskogee, Okla., will accept applications and supporting documents for Chapter 1607 claims. You can start the application process by filling out and following the instructions on VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits.

For more details, see How to Apply for GI Bill Benefits and get started using your benefits today!

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