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CH33 GI Bill FAA Medical requirements?


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Hey guys, under the old CH 30 GI Bill we needed to maintain a 2nd class medical or higher to get VA reimbursement for our ratings or risk not getting paid.

 

With the Post 9/11 GI Bill towards a degree seeking program at 100% reimbursement...do they care what level of FAA medical we carry?

Edited by wickedsprint
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I'm inclined to disagree. I think I'm one of the few who went for a 2nd class medical going into the program.

 

Also, the only ones who have asked to see my medical was the flight school. I've never had to give a copy to the VA rep or even the college itself.

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From personal experience....Maintain a class 2 or class 1.

 

This was under the CH30 GI Bill, and due to inaccurate information provided to me by the flight schools VA "expert". This was pre-internet age (1992), I was 22 & just took the word of the subject matter "expert"...yeah I know, ultimately my responsibility & my bust.

 

I was denied the 60% reimbursement from the VA for failing to maintain at least a class 2 medical. I appealed the decision to the maximum extent possible which took 3 1/2 years and was still denied reimbursement, over $7k.

 

So, my recommendation would be to suck up the cost of the $125 class 2 medical to guarantee your coverage.

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Under chapter 33 the VA requires you have a 2nd class medical when enrolling for a semester of flight training ($9500/semester/quarter). If your second class medical expires and goes to a third class during one of your semesters, that's ok. But when you enroll for your next semester of flight training, you need to have a current 2nd class medical before you are eligible to enroll. Whether the VA or the school checks this is another story. The VA DOES do audits of the programs occasionally and that is one of the things they look for. The school should have a photocopy of your medical in your enrollment paperwork. If they don't they will get dinged and you may have to pay that money back. I wouldn't want to find out what happens.

 

That's that!

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Do you happen to have a reference handy for that info? My school is meticulous like you wouldn't believe when it comes to paper work and I'm sure that's something they should know, if they don't already.

 

It might fall on the student, but it's going to look bad on the school as well.

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Do you happen to have a reference handy for that info? My school is meticulous like you wouldn't believe when it comes to paper work and I'm sure that's something they should know, if they don't already.

 

It might fall on the student, but it's going to look bad on the school as well.

 

You're right! It does look bad for the school!

 

Doing a web search is yielding nothing as the actual bill has been removed from the VA's website (I wonder why? <_< ) and the website only says you need a valid medical (not specifying what class), so I am putting in a question to my school's certifying official to verify what we have already been told. When I get a response in writing from them, I will post it here.

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Interesting. I just enrolled a 33 student and the paperwork for the school would not get approved until he had his 2nd class (he already had a 3rd class). There may be some differences of opinion here. I am still waiting on a response from the VA official that audits my school. Getting any kind of straight answer out of the VA is like pulling teeth.

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I agree, it's very frustrating. The website also states you need a PPL before they pay but we also know some degree linked flight schools are approved for PPL because they make the private course mandatory.

 

Is your CH33 student receiving housing allowance for his training?

Edited by wickedsprint
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I agree, it's very frustrating. The website also states you need a PPL before they pay but we also know some degree linked flight schools are approved for PPL because they make the private course mandatory.

 

Is your CH33 student receiving housing allowance for his training?

 

Got your pm and replied. But for reference I will say that the student is full time school doing flight training and getting BAH. You are not eligible for the housing allowance if you are not enrolled in the university's classes full time, though flight training does account for some of that time.

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Just got this in writing from VA:

 

"The prerequisite to begin using your benefits for flight training is that you have your Class II medical and your Private Pilots License.

 

Individuals pursuing an approved flight program (regardless of the institution providing the program) will receive the lesser of the following:

 

• The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees after the application of any waiver, scholarship, aid, or assistance [other than loans and funds provided under section 401(B) of the Higher Education Act of 1965], or $10,000 for the academic year beginning on August 1, 2012, you WILL NOT receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend.)"

 

That settles that. I think...

 

Edit:

 

There may be some work-arounds for the BAH that I am not aware of, or maybe some schools have pulled the wool over the VA's eyes, but in any case, it sounds like if you are going to be flying on the post 911 GI bill you need your private, a 2nd class medical, and you are forfeiting your BAH.

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Just got this in writing from VA:

 

"The prerequisite to begin using your benefits for flight training is that you have your Class II medical and your Private Pilots License.

 

Individuals pursuing an approved flight program (regardless of the institution providing the program) will receive the lesser of the following:

 

The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees after the application of any waiver, scholarship, aid, or assistance [other than loans and funds provided under section 401(B) of the Higher Education Act of 1965], or $10,000 for the academic year beginning on August 1, 2012, you WILL NOT receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend.)"

 

That settles that. I think...

 

Edit:

 

There may be some work-arounds for the BAH that I am not aware of, or maybe some schools have pulled the wool over the VA's eyes, but in any case, it sounds like if you are going to be flying on the post 911 GI bill you need your private, a 2nd class medical, and you are forfeiting your BAH.

 

Huh, I thought they changed the post 9/11 GI Bill to pay for private on up? Doesn't affect me since I already have it but that's a pretty good road block for some who'll have to come up with about 10 grand to get their PPL. I'm getting ready to start using it for fixed-wing multi-engine training.

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I would dispute what that VA letter says as I know for a fact you can get your Private paid for using Ch 33 GI Bill. I was enrolled to start on my Private through a 2-yr. degree program until I found out I was going to get deployed. What the letter states sounds like the requirement for Ch. 30 GI Bill, which is how I earned my FW Instrument and Commercial. Remember, the VA is not staffed by a bunch of pilots that understand the ins and outs of aviation. I have spoken with the VA many times in the last 20+ years and I seem to get a different answer to the same question 4 out of 5 times. There are a few people in the VA that really understand the flight training stuff well, but sadly they are few and far between.

 

My recommendation is to speake with multiple places that have a well established flight program that qualifies for Ch. 33 benefits and see if any of them can provide you with the source documents that spell out exactly what is allowed. Too often, the initial information put out by the government isn't correct. Don't pay for your Private when you can get it all of it paid for with the GI Bill benefits that YOU earned!

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Just got this in writing from VA:

 

"The prerequisite to begin using your benefits for flight training is that you have your Class II medical and your Private Pilots License.

 

Individuals pursuing an approved flight program (regardless of the institution providing the program) will receive the lesser of the following:

 

• The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees after the application of any waiver, scholarship, aid, or assistance [other than loans and funds provided under section 401(B) of the Higher Education Act of 1965], or $10,000 for the academic year beginning on August 1, 2012, you WILL NOT receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend.)"

 

That settles that. I think...

 

Edit:

 

There may be some work-arounds for the BAH that I am not aware of, or maybe some schools have pulled the wool over the VA's eyes, but in any case, it sounds like if you are going to be flying on the post 911 GI bill you need your private, a 2nd class medical, and you are forfeiting your BAH.

 

No wool.

 

They're quoting you vocational flight training. $10K a year max.

Edited by wickedsprint
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This just goes to show how screwed up the VA is. They don't even know how their programs are supposed to work.

 

My original question was specific to the Post 911 GI Bill. This is not a chapter 30 response. I am familiar with the differences and that some people are getting their private through CFII paid for 100% with BAH. I am not sure if the rules changed recently or if this counselor doesn't know what she is talking about, but that's the answer I got.

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That "counselor" doesn't know what she is talking about. The rules haven't changed. That was indeed a CH 30 response you got.

 

CH 30 or REAP:

Must hold PPL

Must hold valid medical. (VA website doesn't specify what class. I remember reading Class 2 at some point in the past though.)

Up to 60% reimbursement.

 

Note: No college/degree requirement. You are treated as a private pay student at the flight school (out of pocket).

 

 

 

CH 33:

Enroll in a college's approved flight training degree. (No license requirements, meaning it takes you from PPL to CFI-I)

Flight school/college seems to determine medical class requirements.

Only stipulation about reimbursement is private college (Embry-Riddle, $18,077.50 annual max) vs public college (University/Community, up to 100% depending on service length)

 

Note: Both types of college receives BAH and book stipends.

HUGE NOTE: APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID! The Pell Grant is a great way to help pay the bills if you're in a situation where you can't work, or what ever else may happen.

 

 

CH 33 treats you as a college student. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

Also, I'm not sure if anyone knows about the vocational part of CH 33. Once you complete your degree, if you decide you want to get any add-on/additional training (CPL-FW, or maybe an ATP when you're ready), you can use this to help you attain the rating. Not quite sure how that one works yet, but one of the instructors at my school is using it to get his FW stuff done. I'll ask him the details next time I see him and let everyone know.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: The information above is what I pulled from knowledge and deciphering the VA website, as well as other sources. DO NOT consider it official as none of it came directly from the VA.

 

 

I know most everyone here knows all this, but it'll probably help people in the future.

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