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What Payments Can I Expect If I’m Using Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferred Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Before my ex-husband and I got divorced, he transferred some of his GI Bill to me. I am currently enrolled in a college and I was just curious as to what I would be entitled to as I use this. He said he wasn’t sure and I had no idea who to ask. Can you answer my question?

A: I can answer your question up to a point as I don’t know a couple of variables that come into play, but I’ll give you the resource where you can figure it out for yourself.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays your tuition and eligible fees directly to your school. If you are at the 100% entitlement tier (meaning he served at least three years after September 10, 2001on a Title 10 order (which if he was on active duty, he would have met that requirement), then they would pay 100% of your tuition at a public school or up to $19,198.31 per year at a private school.

Also, you would get a book stipend of $41.67 per credit, up to the $1,000 yearly cap. If you attend full-time, it is usually enough for a couple of semesters per academic year.

If your ex is no longer serving, then you would also rate the monthly housing allowance (MHA). This is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take each semester. An average across the U.S. is $1,300 per month. Yours could be more or less depending on your school’s zip code.

To find out how much you would get, go to the BAH Calculator. Enter in your school zip code in the Duty Zip Code box. From the Pay Grade drop-down box, select E-5. Use the E-5 with dependents figure as your amount.

If your ex is still serving, you may not get the MHA. It really depends on if he is drawing BAH or not and the settlement of your divorce. Sometimes a lawyer will suggest the MHA for up to 36 months, instead of BAH from the date of the divorce through the duration of the service and up to retirement.

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