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Can Both My Spouse and I Receive Both the Housing Allowance & Book Stipend?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Would my spouse also receive housing allowance & book stipend if I use my husband’s GI Bill? I will be going to a campus school in Texas.

A: If your husband transferred some of his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to you while he was still serving and he is now out of the service and going to school, yes, you would both get the housing allowance and book stipend, provided you both meet the eligibility requirements for the housing allowance.

To be eligible, you have to be a greater-than-half-time student and not taking all online classes. So if your school considers 12 credits to be full-time, then you have to take at least 7 credits to qualify. Before August 1st, 7 credits or more would get you the full housing allowance, but that will change. With the passage of the GI Bill 2.0, the housing allowance will be prorated based on the number of credits you are taking.

For example, after August 1st, if you are taking 7 credits, then you would get 7/12th of the housing allowance, whereas now you would get the whole amount.

If you husband is still serving, then you would not be eligible for the housing allowance, but you would be authorized the book stipend starting this fall. That was another GI Bill 2.0 change.

Your husband most likely has 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, so the VA doesn’t care if they pay you and him both for 18 months (assuming he gave you half of his 36 months) or just him for the full 36 months.

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