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When Will I Get My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance Paid?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I just started using the benefits of my Post 9/11 GI Bill. I received a letter a few days ago regarding my BAH. I just recently started the Spring semester at my school last month in January. It is now February and I wanted to know when exactly I will receive payments on my housing allowance. In the letter I received, it stated that I will be receiving the monthly housing allowance every month, of the prior month that I am enrolled in the school. I am still awaiting my first payment of my housing allowance. I was told that you receive payment on the 1st of every month. I was wondering if there is an exact date that I can expect the housing allowance to show up in my account, or if the date and time of the payment varies. Please let me know any information that I need. Thank you very much. Very respectful.

A: What you were told is correct – but only after you receive the first payment, which can take 8 to 10 weeks. So if you started school in January, don’t expect to see any Post 9/11 GI Bill money until around the middle of March. If you haven’t received anything by then, call the VA.

As far as when you should receive money, it should come during the first part of each month, but not necessarily the 1st of each month. And yes, what you receive will be for the previous month as the VA is always one month behind in paying. Once you start receiving money, you should see a deposit around the same time each month – at least within the span of a few days. Federal holidays and storm closures can affect the payment schedule like any other Federal agency.

Comments  (36)

So basically if you are getting out of the military and going straight to school you’re going to be eating ramen and sleeping under a stairwell for a few months while the VA gets their head out of their fourth point of contact.

posted by Fred
3:47 pm on January 17, 2012

That is correct unless you have saved enough to carry you through until you get your first VA payment.

posted by Ron Kness
3:37 pm on January 22, 2012

Damn this is hella true. I saved enough for 2 years of hard times while i was in the coast guards. I started school in june. It’s almost september. VA cant tell me when i will see money. That’s funny because they sure gave me dates when they wanted me in boot camp, or wanted me deployed but NOW i cant get a date to save my life when they owe ME something. Argggggghhh

posted by matt
11:12 pm on August 12, 2012

The last time I looked Matt, the VA was on a 125 day backlog and working on 915,000 claims and applications, so you should see something soon. You are smart in having enough money to get you by for a while. I see many students get out of the military start school and expect to still get paid on the 1st and 15th. As you are finding out, it doesn’t work that way. Hang in there.

posted by Ron Kness
8:35 am on August 14, 2012

As a related question, will the BAH (MHA) be prorated as well? In other words, if I started school on the 27th of August and can therefore expect my first check sometime in November, will I be paid for 4 days of August and all of September/October?

posted by Elf
6:05 pm on September 1, 2012

Yes you would.

posted by Ron Kness
10:07 am on September 9, 2012

Ron, do you think under that scenario of starting school on 8/27 it will take until November to get money?

posted by Phil
3:07 pm on September 16, 2012

That is worst-case scenario Phil. Hopefully, you will see some money sooner than that.

posted by Ron Kness
10:25 am on September 30, 2012

What is the usual delay between the school getting it’s first payment directly, and the recipient getting his or her first BAH payment. I got the letter, and the school got paid, but I am still a few weeks later with no BAH. Just checking.

posted by Rob R.
1:13 pm on October 15, 2012

It can take up to 10 weeks before you will see any money, however hopefully, it won’t take that long. Because we are not affiliated with the VA, I can’t tell you exactly how long it will take.

posted by Ron Kness
1:18 pm on October 20, 2012

I was in the same boat wondering when I would receive my monthly stipend as well as my book allowance. They told me 6-8 weeks before I would possibly see anything. However, they also told me that if I was in a financial crunch and late on bills to fax them a request to place my status in hardship which I guess gets it expedited. I called a week later after faxing a request and spoke to someone and they took care of it on the phone. I was supposed to receive payment last week. Hopefully it will be this week. Should’ve just stuck with the MGIB

posted by Clinton
12:22 am on October 22, 2012

so we only get paid once a month? TX BAH is around 1600 give or take a few $ stop me if I’m wrong but don’t E5’s get that 1600 on top of there full pay on the 1st and 15th?

posted by guest
8:14 pm on November 12, 2012

O.K., I’ll stop you because you are wrong. If you are still serving on active duty, then you would not get the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance. The VA would pay your tuition and you would get the book stipend.
However, if you are on active duty, I recommend that you use Tuition Assistance and Tuition Top-Up. Both are great program and will maximize your GI Bill benefits.

posted by Ron Kness
10:04 am on November 14, 2012

I don’t know that the MGIB would be any different than the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It all goes through the same office.

posted by Ron Kness
10:33 am on November 14, 2012

Does the VA wait until the end of the term to start processing a housing allowance? I know you have to be a full time student (so earning at least 12 credits for the term), but if it is broken up into two sessions and you are earning 6 credits for each session, I am thinking you will be viewed as a part time student until that second session begins; therefore not qualifying for the housing allowance until that time.

posted by Vanessa
9:52 am on January 17, 2013

The VA processes the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance at the end of the month and you get paid shortly into the new month. However for calculation purposes the VA uses the number of credits you are taking at any one-time. Because the two 6-credit classes do not overlap (meaning you are only taking 6 credits at any one time), you would not be eligible for any housing allowance provided 6 credits is under the 51% number of credits your school considers to be full-time. If 6 credits does put you over the 51% mark, then you would bet some housing allowance for the entire term.

posted by Ron Kness
7:30 pm on January 19, 2013

I am wondering i fi will get the full BAH if i am enrolled in 9 distance hours and 4 resident hours. also if i am reading correctly after being enroller on Jan. 22 i should be expecting to see the BAH payment no later then March 1st?

posted by Nick
10:12 pm on January 30, 2013

I started class Jan 4th and my school finally sent in the course verification and the VA says they received it on Jan 28 (Mon) and today, my school finally showed up on my “ebenefits” account under ‘Post-9/11 Enrollment status’. With all this information finally coming together at the VA, when should I expect my first 9/11 payment from the VA will be?

posted by Jay Carr
12:32 pm on February 14, 2013

What would have t be included on the letter asking for expediting your housing stipend? I’m sure everyone would poverty to get their money quicker but in our case it’s quite true. We would not be abe to wait 8+ weeks for this. As I’m going to school in FL, would I fax it to the Atlanta Regional Office?

posted by Travis
3:09 pm on February 18, 2013

I started school on 15 of last month. I got my first payment which was 1200 yesterday, shouldn’t it be around 800 if the school zip code stated 1600 on BAH calculator for Houston area and i only attended half the month. I thought the VA pays a month behind, is something wrong? should i be expecting the full 1600 end of march?

posted by Kyle
3:04 pm on March 1, 2013

I can only speculate, but they may have included your book stipend with your payment. I don’t think anything is wrong and you will have to wait and see, but you should get the full $1,600 of you are going to school full-time.

posted by Ron Kness
6:18 pm on March 11, 2013

From what I have read, you have to be ready to be evicted from your residence to get the VA to expedite a payment, however I wouldn’t do it by letter, I would call them. Find out what information they need and fax it to them to get the quickest response possible (and even then it might not work).

posted by Ron Kness
8:28 am on March 16, 2013

Wow, it took 24 days for your school to process your Certificate of Enrollment? I think I would be looking for another school. Every day they delay in sending in your form delays your GI Bill payment. Once the VA has all your paperwork, it can still take 8 to 10 weeks before you see any money. However, with the VA going to LTS (Long Term Solution) processing, the wait time should start to drop. The VA is talking about a 24 day wait time for new students, but we will have to wait and see.

posted by Ron Kness
8:32 am on March 16, 2013

Me again I figured out why I got the 1200 and not 800 or 1600, it was not my GI Bill bah money, it was back pay for 30% disability that i had no idea I was getting, I went onto my ebenefits and figured that out. Still wondering about my bah, I got this message from my college VA department “An Enrollment certification for the period beginning on 1/14/2013 and ending on 5/12/2013 for Credit Hours: 9, Distance Hours: 0, Rem/Def Hours: 3 and Clock Hours: 0 has been submitted to the VA. This was submitted by a certifying official from the LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEM on 2/8/2013. Your claim will be processed in the order it was received. Please do not respond to this message.” So it been a few weeks since it was submitted is there any time frame to go on with that date? Also since 3 hours are listed as REM which I assume is remedial for my math class, will I be paid 100% bah or not since its not college level math. Thank you for your info.

posted by Kyle
11:48 pm on March 17, 2013

Kyle, remedial courses required by the institution count towards your rate-of-pursuit. Therefore, if you are taking 12 hours of study for your spring semester, it would appear that you meet the minimum credit hours to qualify as a full-time student. Good luck!

posted by Jeff
1:01 am on May 28, 2013

We have transferred GI benefits to our son. Will he receive MHA even though the service member will still be collecting BAH? And does it matter if he (dependent) lives on campus, at my home or at his own residence? Another question: can schools independently decide the circumstances under which you get MHA? I know ODU says on their website that students can use GI Bill for Housing allowance if they are enrolled solely in distance learning.

posted by Dianna
3:24 am on June 5, 2013

Yes he will. The neat part about it is he could still live at home, not pay rent and he would still get the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance. However, if you as the spouse were using the same Post 9/11 GI bill benefits, you would not get the housing allowance. Crazy huh!

Schools cannot independently decide anything about the MHA. That is a VA call. However, if you are taking all your classes online, you would max out on the MHA at $684 per month as a full-time student. But take just one class per semester (that credits to your degree plan) on campus and you would qualify for the full MHA authorized for the zip code where you attend campus classes.

Your son would also get the book stipend at $41.67 per credit, up to the $1,000 per year cap.

posted by Ron Kness
1:53 pm on June 9, 2013

So if you have registered for classes and supplied all your needed paperwork in May to the VA, does that time count for the 10 weeks it should take for you to receive payments for summer school? I’ve been using the Bill for a while, but this is my first summer semester using it. Last semester I received mine fairly quick, but still haven’t received my payment for summer classes. I agree with others, I fulfilled all my obligations to received the bill, the military should put more money into making these benefits more efficient for future veterans using the bill. Also, for any other vets, you can apply and use the Pell Grant for the spring and fall semesters.

posted by Lee
7:33 pm on June 18, 2013

If you have been using the Post 9/11 GI bill all along, you should have been paid by now. I’m thinking that you are not taking enough credits during the Summer Session to authorize you the housing allowance. To qualify, you have to take at least 51% of the number of credits required to be considered a full-time student.

Many schools have a requirement of 12 credits per semester for the fall and spring semesters, but 6 credits per Summer Session, but if your school has not conveyed that information to the VA and you are taking 6 credits, the VA is thinking you are not taking enough credits to qualify for the housing allowance, although you should still have received the book stipend unless you have already reached your $1,000 cap from the fall and spring semesters.

posted by Ron Kness
12:38 pm on June 23, 2013

Ron, thanks for all your help. This is my second semester, and its much easier and a lot quicker once you are in the system for it to show up on the Ebenefits page. One problem I did have while waiting the first time my certification was sent in, was that someone had started my paperwork, and they did not finish it. I had been waiting on the money for quite a while until i decided it would be best to hold on the line forever for someone to answer. To my surprise someone answered in less than 30 seconds. She let me know that someone had not completed it. The lady on the line had everything sorted out and in about 3 business days had been back paid and continued to get paid every month after. So if anyone has received info saying your paperwork was submitted and the time frame you were given has passed, give the VA a call, hopefully you get lucky like i did. Once again thanks Ron! Kyle

posted by Kyle
9:15 pm on June 24, 2013

I just registered for my classes this last Saturday. I have already filled out the processing paperwork and finished with the certificate of eligibility. I am currently under the post 9/11 and taking summer courses. should i be expecting to see any money the first of this month? or will it be the month after next?

posted by Travis
12:24 pm on June 25, 2013

It can take up to 8 weeks before you will see any money, so most likely you will be done with the summer session before you get anything from your Post 9/11 GI Bill.

posted by Ron Kness
10:54 am on June 28, 2013

Hi Ron,

I exhausted my Montgomery GI benefits and just started on the Post 9/11 bill. The VA sent me a letter of eligibility and when I called them last week, they told me they had just processed me for Summer quarter. Will I get my BAH sometime next month?

posted by Caroline
10:23 pm on June 30, 2013

The VA is always a month in arrears in paying the monthly housing allowance. So you should get your money approximately a month after the VA approved your Summer Session application.

posted by Ron Kness
11:43 am on July 5, 2013

Ok I just started on my adventure here. So far I have filed for fafsa and was told I would be approved for the full amount. I also talked to the va and plan on using my Montgomery gi bill in conjunction with it. I won’t start school till Jan 15 but wanted to know if I get my packet in now when should I expect to see my first payment from the Montgomery. Also does it really come to me or what’s the deal. Thanks for your help in advance.

posted by Jeremie 19 delta
7:34 pm on October 28, 2013

Montgomery GI Bill benefits are sent directly to the student. Just know that the VA is always a month in arrears in paying, so you won’t get your first check until at least a month after you start school and it could even be longer. The government shutdown pushed things back further and it will take time to get caught up.

posted by Ron Kness
9:12 pm on October 29, 2013
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