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As a 90% VA-Rated Disabled Veteran, Am I Entitled to 100% of Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I enlisted in the Army (Active Duty) in July of 2008 and was injured and medically retired in June of 2009. Do you know if a veteran with a 90% VA disability rating (40% disability from the Army, required for medical retirement) is entitled to the full GI Bill benefits or only partial due to the less than 2-3 years served?

A: It depends on whether your medical discharge was deemed service-connected or not. If it is service-connected, then all you had to serve was 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001 and you would get the full 36 months of entitlement at the 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier.

That means the VA would pay 100% of the resident tuition if you attend a public school or up to $19,198.31 per year if you attend a private school. You would also qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program which would be valuable if you are paying out-state tuition or your private school charges more than what the VA can pay by law. The Yellow Ribbon Program would pick up most if not all of the difference. You would also get 100% of both the housing allowance authorized for the zip code of your school and the maximum book stipend of $41.67 per credit.

However if your medical discharge was not service-connected, then the most you could hope for would be 36 months of entitlement at the 50% tier level.

If you are talking about the Montgomery GI Bill, and your discharge is service-connected, then you would get up to $1,648 per month up to 36 months in education benefits. Out of this amount you would have to pay your own tuition, fees and books. If not service connected, then the best you can hope for would be one month of benefits for each month served or about 11 months.

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