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Can You Answer These Questions Concerning the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have a few questions concerning the post 9/11 GI bill. #1. My husband has 18 years of service. His current retirement date is set for Feb 2014. If he transfers his benefits to my son and myself, would he have to extend his retirement date? If so for how long? The entire 4 years? #2. If I attend school part time for 3 years, how many months does that equate to off the GI bill benefits 36 months full time. My son will be using 5 months of benefits for a trade school he is attending. I wasn’t sure how many months would be remaining. I am attending a FNP program which is 24 months full time or 36 months part time. I would prefer to go part time if the benefits will allow that option. #3. If I am going to school while my husband is still active duty, does that take away my housing allowance benefit since he already receives BAH?

A: #1 – If he is retirement eligible (20 years or more) in Feb 2014, no additional time should be required. If not, then he would have to extend for enough time to get to 20 years, but it would be less than four years because he is already within four years of having 20 years of service.

#2 – This I can’t answer without having more information, however, I can tell you how Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement use is calculated and you can figure it out yourself. As a full-time student, you use one month of entitlement for each full month of school.

So let’s say your school uses 12 credits as their full-time mark. If you take 12 credits in a semester, you use up one month of entitlement for each full month of school. However, if you take 7 credits per semester, then you use up 7/12th of a month of entitlement (or about 17.5 days) for each full month of school.

So you can see that if I don’t know how many credits your school considers to be full-time and how many credits you intend to take, I can’t calculate your entitlement use, but now you can.

Your husband originally had 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits provided he did not use any yet, so if your son uses five months, that would leave 31 months left, or more than enough left for you to go to school full-time for 3 nine-month school years.

#3 – Yes, you are correct. If your husband is still serving, you would not get the housing allowance, however, due to a recent change, you will start getting the book stipend paid at $41.67 per credit up to $1,000 per year, which is enough for 24 credits per year.

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