The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), a Department of Veterans Affairs program providing education benefits to reservists activated in response to a national emergency, is being phased out as of November 2015.
REAP (short for Reserve Educational Assistance Program) beneficiaries already enrolled in the program before Nov. 25 are eligible to continue to receive benefits until November 2019. Reservists not enrolled in the Reserve Educational Assistance Program or not currently attending a school will no longer be eligible.
In a statement announcing the termination of the program, the VA indicated overlap between REAP and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Both programs apply to reservists activated on or after Sept. 11, 2001. According the VA, Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for activated reservists are often greater than would be available under REAP.
All applications for REAP that missed the final deadline to enroll will be evaluated by the VA for eligibility under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other VA educational programs. Reservists already enrolled in REAP who are interested in permanently moving over to the GI Bill are encouraged by the VA to call the GI Bill hotline.
The REAP program was created in 2005 to provide educational benefits for the large number of reservists called to active duty in support of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the globe who were not otherwise eligible for educational benefits for their active service. The expansion of benefits in the 2008 Post-9/11 GI Bill provided similar eligibility and benefits, leading to VA’s decision to terminate the program and roll prospective REAP candidates into the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.
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