Reserve Educational Assistance Program REAP (Chapter 1607)
What is REAP?
REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is a new Department of Defense 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 Defense and the Department of Homeland Security will determine who is eligible for this program. The Department of Veterans Affairs will administer the program and pay benefits from funds contributed by DOD.
Who qualifies for REAP?
The Secretaries of each military service, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) will determine eligibility and establish the program to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserves of the armed forces who are called to duty for 90 days or more. Members may be eligible after serving 90 consecutive days on active duty after September 11, 2001.
How much does the REAP benefit pay monthly?
- If you serve 90 days but less than 1 year, you will receive 40% of active duty rate.
- A service period of 1 year but less than 2 years of active duty will pay 60% of the active duty rate.
- New legislation has made the 80% of the active duty rate available to anyone who was mobilized for at least 2 continuous years of active duty OR served multiple mobilizations totaling 3 years or more. All qualifying mobilization periods beginning on or after 9/11/2001 may be used to determine eligibility for the 80% rate.
IMPORTANT: Members on active duty are only entitled to be reimbursed for the actual cost of the tuition and fees of the courses taken (not to exceed the statuatory rate.)
Note: This benefit is retroactive to September 11, 2001. A reservist attending school will be paid a percentage of the MGIB three-year rate in effect during the time in which he/she was enrolled. For example: The three-year full time MGIB rate in June of 2002 was $800. Someone being paid the 40% rate for school enrollment in June 2002 would receive $320 for full time monthly benefits.
$600 Buy-up Program:
Some reservists may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5400 in additional GI Bill benefits. You must be a member of a Ready Reserve component (Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, or Inactive National Guard) to pay into the “buy-up” program.
How much entitlement will I get under REAP?
You will receive 36 months of full time entitlement at your given rate. A REAP participant may not use more than 48 months of entitlement under any combination of VA Educational programs.
For example, if youve already used 20 months of MGIB-SR, you will only receive 28 months of REAP.
How long do I have to use benefits under REAP?
REAP participants who separated from the Selected Reserve after completing their service contract under other than dishonorable conditions are now eligible for REAP benefits for 10 years after they are separated from the Selected Reserve.