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Can I Get Post 9/11 GI Bill Interval Pay to Cover Living Expenses?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am an Air Force veteran. I enlisted in 13 Dec 2005 and was honorably discharged 17 Sep 2011. I still have my GI Bill and was curious about “interval pay?” I am assuming that is the pay for living expenses? Or if that isn’t it, I was curious if you got a housing allowance for being a student. And if so do I have to be a full-time student or just taking a few classes?

A: Interval pay was the pay students used to get when they were on breaks between semesters. Under the GI Bill 2.0, it was eliminated. If you use your Post 9/11 GI Bill and take enough credits each semester, then yes you would get the housing allowance during the time you are taking classes.

The housing allowance is calculated based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take. As long as you take 51% or more of the number of credits your school considers to be full-time, you would be authorized the housing allowance, but at a prorated and reduced rate.

For example, if your school considers full-time at 12 credits and you are taking 7 credits, then you would only get 7/12th of the full-time housing allowance. That changed awhile back also. It used to be as long as you were taking 51% of the full-time number, you got 100% of the housing allowance.

Also, you have to watch out for classes that run less than a full semester. You only get the housing allowance if you are at or above the 51% mark. So let’s say you are taking three 3-credit classes at the start of the semester for a total of 9 credits – your school considers 12 credits to be full-time. Let’s also say that one of your 3-credit classes ends two weeks before the end of the semester. You would not get any housing allowance for those last two weeks of the semester, because with that one class ending, that dropped you down to 6 credits and you needed a minimum of 7 credits (51%) to be authorized the housing allowance in this example. So in essence, the housing allowance is also calculated on the number of credits you are taking day-by-day.

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