Education Benefits and Certification Exams

Understanding what benefits you’re eligible for can seem daunting at times. The landscape and nature of educational programs for veterans has changed rapidly since the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008. The big question you should be asking yourself is: “Am I using the right program for the right goal?”.

Your VA educational benefits can be used for a lot more than just a degree. In lieu of, or in addition to a traditional degree program you can use months of eligibility to be reimbursed for the cost of certification exams.

If you think you have either mitigating or special circumstances please reach out by clicking the “get help” to get your specific questions answered.

If you’re eligible, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can reimburse you for taking a license or certification test. The test must be approved for VA purposes. Generally they must receive your request within one year of when you took the test.

You may receive reimbursement for approved licensing and certification tests if you qualify for:

Post-9/11 GI Bill

• Vocational Rehab (confirm with your counselor)

• Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)

• Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR)

• Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

• Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

• Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)

Getting Started

Step 1

Apply for education benefits. If you’ve previously applied for education benefits, you don’t need to apply again. Go to step 2.

All applications for educational benefits can now be done online through the Veterans Online Applications (VONAPP) system. There is more than one way to get to this step, however, especially if you are already an eBenefits user. If you are an eBenefits user you can sign in using your eBenefits account instead of a VONAPP account, which is recommended.

While in eBenefits, go to the top left to “apply” and education where it will take you to VONAPP. Click “I am a returning user” even if you’ve never been to VONAPP before as it will sign you in with your eBenefits account. From there, you can apply for benefit eligibility.

Step 2

Apply for reimbursement.

The process for applying for reimbursement is pretty straightforward. Send in a VA-22-0803 “Application for Reimbursement” to the address on the form based on your geographic region. The VA won’t reimburse you for registration fees, preparation guides, processing fees, etc.

You can search approved tests in the WEAMS system http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchLCCriteria.do

If you can’t find your test, you should still apply for reimbursement. Your test may be approved but not appear on the list. You should always check with your testing organization to see if your test is VA approved.

How Much Can I Receive?

You can receive reimbursement of up to $2,000 per test but not more than the VA approved cost of the test. You may receive benefits to retake a test you didn’t pass. You may receive benefits to retake a test you passed if the test is required for recertification or to allow you to retain a license you already have. You must be eligible for benefits in order to receive test reimbursement. Your total months of benefits will be reduced each time you receive reimbursement for a licensing or certification test.


For the  Post-9/11 GI Bill you can be reimbursed up to $2,000 per test. Your entitlement will be charged one month for every $1,759.08 paid to you rounded to the nearest non-zero whole month; this means even low-cost tests are charged one month of entitlement per test.

If you have any questions regarding your benefits or transitional resources, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking “Get Help” at the top. By voicing your concerns and questions, each and every one of you are the reason these kind of changes for the betterment of veterans benefits occur.