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Just What Exactly Should I Be Getting for Payments from My Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am currently enrolled in the master’s program at a university in Ocala, Florida. I would like to know what my benefits should be. The school representative made and error and gave me a personal check for $1,000.00 dollars. I am receiving $1,000.00 dollars a month? Is this correct, and should I receive additional money for books, lodging, etc.? I exited the Marine Corp in April having served in Iraq.

A: Actually, if you are a full-time student, you should be receiving $1,125 per month in Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance money and it should come directly from the VA. In addition, the VA should be paying your tuition directly to your school and you should be getting a book stipend once per semester in addition to your housing allowance.

The book stipend is figured at $41.67 per credit and while it does have a $1,000 per year cap on it, it is usually enough for a couple of semesters per year. You get the per credit amount as a reimbursement as you have to buy your books yourself. Some semesters it would be likely enough to buy all your books while in other semesters it may cost you some out-of-pocket money; in the end it all works out.

I’m not sure what is going on with the $1,000 personal check your school representative gave you. By personal, I’m assuming you mean your university and not out of his or her own personal checking account. If so, that would have me asking lots of questions.

I’m assuming it was a snafu between the school and the VA as far as tuition is concerned as the VA pays the school directly. Just to be safe, I would ask what that $1,000 is for and why you are getting it.

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