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Did My Post 9/11 GI Bill Clock Start Ticking When I Received My Certificate of Eligibility?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi. My name is John and I originally planned on getting out last year through an Early Separation Program. Unfortunately that didn’t work out for me. But during the process, I submitted my application for the Post 9/11 GI Bill through VONAPP and I received my Certificate of Eligibility weeks later. I still have one year left in the military until I get out. Is my GI Bill still good? Or did the time start as soon as I received my Certificate of Eligibility? I just want to make sure my GI Bill isn’t wasting away while I wait to separate from the military. I’ve been on active duty for 5 years now.

A: Don’t worry John, your Post 9/11 GI Bill is good for 15 years from your date of discharge, so because you still have a year left to serve, your clock hasn’t started ticking yet. And because you have served for at least three years after September 10, 2001, you will be at the 100% tier when you do decide to start using your New GI Bill.

How the Post 9/11 GI Bill works is the VA will pay your tuition directly to your school up to the resident level at a public school or up to $20,235.02 per year at a private school.

Monthly, you’ll get a housing allowance based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take. To see how much you would get, go to the BAH Calculator and enter in the zip code of your proposed school in the Duty Zip Code field. Click on E-5 from the Pay Grade drop down menu and click on Submit. Use the E-5 with dependents figure that is returned.

You’ll also get a book stipend each semester for a couple of semesters each year. It amounts to $41.67 per credit per semester up to $1,000 per year. If you decide to go to a vocational school or another non-degree program, then you would get $83 per month instead because vocational schools don’t use a credit-based system.

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