The passage of the Forever GI Bill in 2017 brought significant changes to the VA-provided education assistance programs available to veterans and military families. Not only did the new bill eliminate the previous time limit for using your GI Bill benefits, but it also greatly expanded many of the key programs and provisions.

For example, more individuals—including surviving spouses and dependent children—are now eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that offers additional financial support for enrollment in more expensive out-of-state or private schools. Purple Heart recipients with fewer than three years of service are also eligible for this benefit under the new bill.

Other changes include the restoration of educational benefits for veterans affected by school shutdowns, an adjustment to the way the time-in-service eligibility is calculated, and expanded benefits for Reservists and National Guard members

How do I know which program is right for me?

Because you may be eligible for more than one program under the Forever GI Bill, you will need to first select the program that best suits your education and training needs.

Visit the Education and Training home page on the VA website to learn more about the different opportunities available to veterans, servicemembers and military families. If you have a list of schools or employers in mind, you can also use the VA’s helpful GI Bill Comparison Tool to compare tuition prices, employee benefits and more.

The next step is applying—and you’ll need a copy of your DD214.

Keep in mind that it can take a few weeks to process your application for VA education benefits, so it’s important to apply early and make sure you have all of the necessary documentation to ensure the application process goes as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

The most important thing you will need is a copy of your DD214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. This form provides a complete overview of your military career and is often required to show proof of service and honorable discharge before veterans can receive benefits like those offered by the Forever GI Bill.

I don’t have my DD214. What do I do?

If you never received your DD214, or if it was lost, stolen or damaged, you will need to order a replacement copy (specifically a Service 2 Copy) before you can complete the application process. If you need it sooner rather than later so you can apply for school, contact to avoid delays and get your DD214 faster.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier.

Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.