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Will My Wife Get Her Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance If I’m Still Serving?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My wife is very soon-to-be a veteran of the USAF and I am active duty Army. She is currently taking online courses and will be continuing to do so when she gets her discharge, using her Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. We have two children, and I am receiving BAH at the with-dependents rate (and I am an E-5). When she is a veteran using the GI Bill to pay for school, at which she will be taking a full course-load (12 credits) with combined online and resident/on-campus classes, will she be entitled to MHA? If so, will this affect my BAH rate?

A: The short answer to your first question is yes; your second question – no. As you know right now, because she is still on active duty, she does not rate the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, however, once she is out, and because she has her own Post 9/11 GI Bill, she will get the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).

The part that confuses many people is that if she were going to use Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that you transferred to her, then she would not get the MHA as long as you were on active duty. See the difference.

The fact that she would be taking a mix of online and on-campus classes is the best way to maximize her GI Bill. If she were taking only online classes, then the most she could get in MHA money would be $714.50, but because she is also taking classes on campus, then she would fall under a different MHA rate – one determined by the zip code of her on-campus school and the number of credits she takes each semester.

Generally speaking, her MHA would be about double of what she would get if she were only taking online classes.

As far as your second question, her going to school on her own Post 9/11 GI Bill should not have an impact on the amount of BAH you are now getting.

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