The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is a VA education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation)* as declared by the President or Congress.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will administer the program and pay benefits from funds contributed by Department of Defense. However, the DoD and Department of Homeland Security will determine eligibility.
REAP benefits cannot be used with other VA educational benefits. You must make an irrevocable election choosing which program you want your military service to count towards. However, if you are eligible for a Reserve GI Bill Kicker (College Fund), you can still be paid that kicker while receiving REAP.
Note: “Contingency operations” as defined in title 10 U.S. Code means “Military operations that are designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the armed forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against opposing military force; or results in the call or order to, or retention on active duty of members of the uniformed services…”
THE BENEFIT AMOUNT
The payment amount for REAP is determined by the number of days you were activated. Each year in October REAP payment rates increase to meet the growing cost of education.
|Time Reserve Member Serves on Active Duty||Full-Time Rate (Eff. Oct. 1, 2017)|
|90 days but less than one year||$771.20|
|One year but less than two years||$1,156.80|
|Two years or more||$1,542.40|
Note: Reduced rates will apply for correspondence, flight, apprenticeship/OJT and licensing and certification training.
Some servicemembers may contribute up to an additional $600 to receive increased monthly benefits.
A member of a reserve component who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10 U.S. Code for a contingency operation and who serves at least 90 consecutive days or more is eligible for REAP.
National Guard members are also eligible if their active duty is under section 502(f), title 32 U.S.C. and they serve for 90 consecutive days when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency and is supported by federal funds.
Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach the 90-day point whether or not they are currently on active duty. DoD will fully identify contingency operations that qualify for benefits under REAP.
You normally have 10 years after your separation from the guard or reserves to use your benefit. If you leave the reserves or guard before your contract is up, you are no longer eligible for the REAP program.
Disabled members who have an illness or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and are released before completing 90 consecutive days, are also eligible.
HOW TO APPLY
You can start the application process by applying online via the VA’s VONAPP online application program.