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Can Each of Our Kids Collect the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance Even If Living at Home?

Q: We will have three kids in college at the same time. We have given each of them 12 months of benefit. Can they each collect housing, even though they are all living in the same household?

A: Yes they can. That is where the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits differ between dependents and spouses. If you had given your wife benefits, she would not have qualified for the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). However each of your kids can collect their own MHA while still living under your roof (even if they don’t pay any room or board)!

The VA will pay each of their tuitions up to the resident rate if they attend a public school, or up to $19,198.31 per year at a private school. Each semester, (up to the $1,000 per year cap) each kid would get a book stipend that calculates out at $41.67 per credit. If each kid is attending full-time, then the book stipend is enough for two semesters per academic year of school.

As far as the MHA, the amount each would receive is based on the zip code of each of their school, and the number of credit each one takes. To give you an idea of what the average MHA is across America, it is at $1,300 per month right now. To see exactly what each on would get, go to the BAH Calculator. Enter in the school zip code in the Duty Zip Code field and select E-5 from the drop down Pay Grade menu. Click on Calculate.

Once the results comes up, use the “with dependents” figure, even though none of them have any dependents – everyone gets the “with dependents” amount.

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