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Are the Housing and Books Stipend Automatically Transferred to the Dependent?

Q: My son’s father (an active military) transferred his GI Bill benefits to him. My son received a letter from the VA stating he would receive a monthly housing payment and book stipend. Are the housing and books stipend automatically transferred to the dependent or is the transfer-or entitled to keep these payments while the dependent attends college?

A: The VA will send the money to wherever his son specifies he wants it to go on his VA Form 22-1990e. If he wants direct deposit, he can enter his routing and account number and the type of account in Block 7 on the form. If not, then he can leave that block empty and hard copy checks will go to the address listed in Block 5.

In return for sending in VA Form 22-1990e, his son will get a Certificate of Eligibility that he will need to take with him when he enrolls in school as a GI Bill student using Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits. In turn, the school will submit a Certificate of Enrollment on his behalf and that starts the payment processing.

At the beginning of the semester, your son will receive his book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit. The book stipend is capped at $1,000 per year which is enough for 24 credits.

Later in the semester, he start receiving his housing allowance based on the zip code of his school and how many credits he is taking. Nation-wide, it averages around $1,200 with both the East and West Coasts being about double of that amount.

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