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How Come I’m Not Receiving My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I’m in the Ohio Army National Guard and while I’m eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I have not ever received a BAH.  I filled out VA paperwork for my college. I do receive a GI Bill, but I am enrolled in a Michigan college so my tuition is not paid for. Is this why I’m not receiving BAH? Or is there someone I’m suppose to contact? Anything would help.

A:  I think we are mixing apples and oranges. First, from what you said – “ I do receive a GI Bill, but I am enrolled in a Michigan college so my tuition is not paid for”, it sounds like you are not using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you were, then your tuition and eligible fees would be paid for up to the in-state maximum for Michigan. Being the New GI Bill is a Federal program, where you go to school really doesn’t determine if you get the housing allowance or not. It is determined by your rate of pursuit and your training venue.

You would get the housing allowance, if you are a greater-than-half-time student (rate of pursuit) and not taking all online courses (training venue). If both of these parameters apply in your case, then you should get the housing allowance; because you are not receiving it, tells me are not on the Post 9/11 GI Bill and are on one of the Montgomery GI Bills (MGIBs)which do not pay a housing allowance.

I suspect you are using the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), either the active duty or selected reserve. With either MGIB, you get paid a monthly amount and you have to pay all your own tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses, and neither MGIB pays a housing allowance.

As a National Guardsman, you would be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill if you had deployed for at least 91 days on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operations, such as Iraq or Afghanistan. If you never had any active duty time or deployed, then you are not eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you are eligible, then fill out VA Form 22-1990 to relinquish your Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve or Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty benefits and to start using your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.  

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