Georgia’s Guardsmen and Reservists activated after Sept. 11, 2001, who take advantage of their GI Bill benefits can now receive an increase in the amount paid to them monthly.

“But this benefit is not automatic,” notes Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Pete Wheeler. “Eligible individuals must apply for this increase in their monthly GI Bill payments by submitting an application and supporting documents.”

Wheeler points out that in addition to being activated after 9-11, the veteran must have served on active duty at least 90 consecutive days and must currently remain in a Guard or Reserve status.

The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) was established as part of the fiscal year 2005 National Defense Authorization Act. The monthly allowance payable under REAP is a percentage of the Active Duty GI Bill’s benefit rate based on the number of days served in an active duty status. Participants can receive 36 monthly GI Bill payments.

Wheeler encourages veterans who believe they may be eligible, or those needing help in filing for this increase, to call the Georgia Department of Veterans Service field office in Dalton at (706) 272-2355 or contact the department’s State Approving Agency at (404) 656-2306 (e-mail to saaga@mindspring.com).

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