On October 30, 2000, the President signed into law an amendment to the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty education program that permits VA to pay a Tuition Assistance Top- up benefit. If you’re eligible for MGIB, and plan to use Tuition Assistance (TA), and your service will not pay 100% of tuition and fees, you can use MGIB Top-up to pay the outstanding balance.
To be eligible for the Top-up benefits, you must be approved for federal Tuition Assistance by a military department and be eligible for either MGIB-Active Duty (Ch. 30) or Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) benefits.
These claims are handled differently from claims for MGIB without TA. For Top-up claims, you will not need to check in with the Office of Military Affairs; Top-up is payable for any course for which TA is payable under DoD criteria.
Important: If a person receives the Top-up benefit, his or her regular MGIB benefits will be reduced. The amount of entitlement charged for Top-up payments is determined by dividing the amount of the payment by the claimant's full-time monthly rate.
Top-up can apply retroactively but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can only go back one year from the date your claim was/is received at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Top-Up can only be used for training in terms that began on or after October 30, 2000, which is the effective date of the law.
The application and other evidence should be sent to Buffalo, NY. Claims should specify that Tuition Assistance Top-up is being claimed.