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Can My Wife and I Both Get the Housing Allowance and Book Stipend?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi, I retire on 1 Dec, 2010. I converted to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and also gave 50% of it to my wife. We both have approved certificates. In Jan of 2011, we will both be full time college students. Do we both get to draw the living stipend and the book stipend? Thanks

A: Yes, you do. You will each get your Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition and eligible fees paid for, up to the in-state VA maximum for your state, a monthly housing allowance and the book stipend for up to 18 months. Considering 9-month academic years, that should be enough for each of you to get two-year’s worth of schooling.

I can’t tell you how much the VA will pay for tuition, because it varies, depending on which state you live in, but you can look it up. Your housing allowances also varies, and while it is paid at the pay grade of an E-5 with dependents, it is also depends on the zip code of your school. On average it is about $1,000 per student, per month with the maximum amount at $2,700 per month in New York City. Yours may be more or less than the average, however, you can use the BAH calculator to figure your amount. Use your school’s zip code in the Duty Zip Code Field and select E-5 from the Pay Grade Drop-down Menu. Use the “with dependents” result.

Good luck and keep in mind you have to use up your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits within 15 years from your discharge date.

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