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As a Reservist On Active Duty, Would My Wife Get Both BAH and the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I transferred my Post 9/11 GI Bill to my spouse who recently received her COE stating that she is eligible for 100% of the benefits payable under the program. However, she is also an Army Reservist and will be going on a short Active Duty tour for which she will receive BAH. Is she eligible to receive my housing benefit as well as her BAH?

A: No she is not. While on active duty, she would get BAH, but not the Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). It is against the law for her to receive both as that is considered “double-dipping”.

However, her tuition would be paid by the VA directly to her school and she would get up to $1,000 per year in book stipend money. It is calculated at $41.67 per credit.

Once she is off active duty and reverts back to Reservist status, her BAH would stop and she would start receiving her MHA. The rest of her Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements (tuition paid and book stipend money) would remain the same.

Keep in mind that she could pick up some of her own Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement while on Title 10 orders. If she spends at least 90 days on active duty, she would be at the 40% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier; a one year tour would bump her up to the 60% tier.

So while she gets 100% coverage while using the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits she received from you, she would get a lesser percentage once those benefits are exhausted and she starts using her own. That lesser percentage applies not only to her MHA and book stipend, but also to her tuition.

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