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As a Military Spouse, Is It True That I Qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am currently an E-2 veteran, who is married to an E-5 active duty solider. He recently PCS’d to Garmisch, Germany taking myself and our two daughters along. Upon arriving, a person from the education center heard I was going to school, and said that I would qualify for BAH. I was not aware of this, and I have not had much luck in my search to understand. We are currently living on-post, and I am not the actual soldier stationed over here, so how exactly would I qualify for BAH? Or is there something else that I would qualify for?

A: I’m assuming you are talking about the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance and not BAH for housing. If you have your own Post 9/11 GI Bill, the person at the Education Center was correct. By having your own GI Bill, you are treated as an individual veteran meaning the VA would pay your tuition and eligible fees directly to your school and you would get a monthly housing allowance.

Each semester you would also get the book stipend that calculates out at $41.67 per credit. There is a $1,000 per year cap on the book stipend, but it is enough for a couple of 12-credit semesters per academic year.

Now let’s talk about how much your Post 9/11 GI Bill would pay. It depends on two things: the fact that your school is overseas and your Post 9/11 GI Bill tier level.

By attending a school in Germany, the VA would pay up to $19,198.31 per year in tuition and fees, assuming you would be going to school full-time and are at the 100% tier. If you are less than full-time or at a lesser percentage, then that amount would be adjusted down accordingly.

As far as the housing allowance, you would get the foreign rate up to $1,429 per month. This amount is also based on a rate of pursuit of full-time and maxed out on the tier level.

As far as the book stipend, it is based on the number of credits you take and tier percentage. If you are at a tier less than 100%, then the $41.67 per credit would be prorated down to your tier percentage.

If you did not have your own Post 9/11 GI Bill, and were going to use benefits transferred to you from your husband, then you would not get the housing allowance, but you would still get the book stipend and get your tuition paid.

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