*Reprinted from Military.com GI Bill® Kicker
'GI Bill®' is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
The College Fund, also known as the GI Bill® Kicker, is an educational benefit that is added to your GI Bill®. The kicker can increase your monthly GI Bill® payment rate by as much as $950 a month. This means that you can actually boost your regular GI Bill® benefit value from $39,363 to over $72,000.
The College Fund is also available if you join the reserve. You must meet the current requirements and accept the Reserve GI Bill® to qualify. If you qualify for the Reserve GI Bill® Kicker, you could increase your Reserve GI Bill® benefit to more than $24,000.
Eligibility and the amount you receive is determined by each branch of service. If you qualify for the College Fund, you do not receive it in one lump-sum payment. Your total College Fund is divided into monthly payments [based on the 36 months of eligibility under the Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB)] that are added to regular MGIB payments. You cannot receive your College Fund money without receiving MGIB benefits.
The College Fund is only made available to you when you first enlist.
Currently, the VA does not have a way to interface with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to verify service members who pay the $600 additional contribution. The VA requests each service member who paid this contribution to submit a copy of the following:
- DD Form 2366
- Copy of LES's - if deductions are payroll deducted
- DD Form 1131 - cash voucher if paid cash in full
These documents provide proof to the VA that the $600 was paid and they will process your claim to include this kicker.