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Is There Anything Else I Need to Do to Start Receiving My Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I am a dependent, using my father’s Post 9/11 GI Bill. I have finished my application, received my Certificate of Eligibility, brought it to my school, and they have informed me that they have mailed it to the VA. I am attending University of Maryland University College overseas. I signed up for my classes, and sent an application to use my VA benefits to pay for them. Is there anything else I need to do to start receiving my benefits? Or at least be done with the application process? Also, UMUC considers 2 classes (6 credits) to be a full-time student, which is what I’ve signed up for. I’ve just read that I should be taking 7+ credits to receive my housing allowance. Will I not receive it now, even though my school considers 6 credits to be full-time? Thank you for your time

A: It sounds like you have everything covered. Once your Post 9/11 GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility and your school’s Certificate of Enrollment match up at the VA, that will start your payments coming from the VA to your school and you.

If you are attending school  overseas, then the payment structure is different. The VA will pay up to $408.09 per credit to your school and you will get a fixed amount of $1,333 for a housing stipend. You should also get up to $1,000 per year book stipend.

As far as the whole credits thing and your housing allowance, I wouldn’t worry about it. According to the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, to get the housing allowance, your rate of pursuit has to be greater than half-time. Most schools consider 12 credits as full-time, so greater than half-time is seven credits (6 credits is half-time). If your school considers 6 credits full-time, then you will get your housing allowance. The greater than half-time amount is calculated off of what your  school considers full-time and not on a fixed-across-the-board number of credits.

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