Using Your Military Benefits in Northeast Indiana

A helpful guide to the fine print of using the GI Bill and healthcare benefits.

Federal Benefits

GI Bill

Post 9/11 GI BillThe Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act provides educational benefits for individuals serving on active duty in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001. Included in these benefits are Four academic years (36 months) of educational tuition benefits for an approved program up to the cost of the most expensive in-state undergraduate public tuition in the state. The minimum requirement is service of at least 90 days, which will entitle the veteran to 40 percent of the educational benefit.

State Residency Requirements—As long as you enroll within three years of your discharge from active service, the only requirement is that you live in the state where the institution of higher learning is located. You do not need to establish formal, legal residency before applying your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits; as long as you live in the state, you will receive in-state tuition.

Your GI Bill benefits can also be used for non-college degree-granting institutions, vocational schools, and correspondence schools. See the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more details.

Yellow Ribbon Program—Remember, your maximum or prorated GI Bill benefits not only include tuition and fees for a public university (or money toward a private university or college), but also money for housing and books. Schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program ensure that veterans can attend for little or no cost, no matter the price of tuition. See this list of participating colleges and universities in Indiana.

Enrollment Requirements—If you enroll within the three-year window post-discharge, you can apply your benefits, but only if you remain continuously enrolled. The only exceptions are regular breaks in the academic calendar, such as summers and holidays.

Transferring Your Benefits—The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows qualified service members to transfer their educational benefits to a spouse or children.

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training—You can also apply your GI Bill benefits to apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs. In Indiana, there are more than 860 occupations that involve an apprenticeship, including carpenter, electrician, plumber, machinist, and tool-and-die engineer. Our nation-leading cluster of mid-tech manufacturing businesses provide continuous training as the industry evolves towards high-skill, high-wage jobs. On-the-job training benefits are commonly used when veterans enter a police or fire academy, or when veterans begin training for corrections officer positions.

Your GI Bill will still provide the monthly housing stipend, as well as cover any book or education fees associated with the program, in addition to the wages you earn while working.

List of Veteran's Affairs Offices and Liasons in Northeast Indiana

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR & E) benefits assist veterans with their transition to the job market. These services include resume assistance, job-seeking advice, job training, as well as assistance with starting a business. Personalize career coaching is also available.

VR & E benefits are available for transitioning service members within six months prior to discharge from active duty, veterans within one year following discharge from active duty, as well as any service member or veteran currently eligible for a VA education benefit, and all current GI Bill beneficiaries.

To apply, please visit eBenefits.

State of Indiana Benefits

Education Benefits—The children of disabled veterans are eligible to receive free in-state tuition at public universities in Indiana. In addition, Purple Heart recipients whose permanent address is located in Indiana can pay the resident tuition rate at any state or public university.

Tax Benefits—Disabled veterans can receive property tax deductions in the state of Indiana. The level of deduction is based on age, service length, and the percentage of the service-connected disability.

Fishing and Hunting License Discounts—Any Indiana resident with a service-connected disability is eligible for a discounted hunting or fishing license.

Golden Hoosier Passport—A Golden Hoosier Passport provides unlimited admission to all Indiana State owned parks, recreation areas, reservoirs, and forests.

Local Healthcare Benefits

Local Services—The VA Northern Indiana Health Care System offers a full range of services, including medical care, extended care and rehabilitation, mental health care, and other social care solutions.

You can find out which healthcare providers in Northeast Indiana accept TRICARE by visiting clicking here.

Local Contacts—The VA Northern Indiana Health Care System has a special outreach program for returning service members who are transitioning back to civilian life. See this list of local specialists who will serve as your advocate and liaison with the VA healthcare system.

Enrollment—Before you or your family member visit the VA hospital in Fort Wayne, please follow these instructions to make sure you have the proper documents ready.