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Does the Student Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance or Does It Go to the Servicemember?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My child is a full time student currently living at home but s/he is getting ready to switch schools and move out. I need to know if it is possible for s/he to receive the books and housing assistance money that the GI Bill provides or does it go to the active duty service member?

A: It should not be going to the active duty service member now! The servicemember transferred his/her Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to the child. The housing allowance and book stipend should go into that child’s bank account via Direct Deposit or the child should receive a check at his/her address.

The student can inform the VA of his/her new school by submitting VA Form 22-1995 – Request for Change of Program or Place of Training. If the child’s money is coming by hard copy check, the new address on the form will update that change.

However, if the child’s money is coming via Direct Deposit, then the child needs to call the VA at 1-888-442-4551 with his/her Direct Deposit routing number and account information.

I don’t know the reason why the servicemember wants to control the student’s Post 9/11 GI Bill money, but part of going away to school is learning how to manage money. If the student has never had money to manage, that is going be a lot harder to learn now away from home than it would have been if s/he would have had money to manage while still living at home.

When the student’s mother or father transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, the money went with the benefits (or at least should have). I am appalled at the number of times I hear stories of parents trying to keep control over their kids.

2 responses on “Does the Student Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance or Does It Go to the Servicemember?

Ron, I am divorced and my child is in her first year of school. I was a little surprised when my ex contacted her and offered to transfer a fraction of his Post 9/11 GI bill to her as he has shown little interest in her in many years. He put his own account number on the direct deposit and has played dumb about the housing allowance when she asked him on numerous occasions about it. She finally called the VA today to find out that he has been receiving a significant amount of money for three months and pocketing it. Is he within his legal right to do this?

I’m assuming when you say “first year of school” you are taking about college and not kindergarten. Is what he is doing legal? Probably so as there really aren’t any laws as far as who should get the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Is it ethical? Absolutely not (unless he is giving the money to her, which it doesn’t sound like he is doing).

I run into this same question quite often. Some parents have good intentions of doing it as they dole out the money as their child needs it. I don’t agree with their line of thinking. How will the child ever learn how to manage money if they are not given the chance to manage s monthly income.

Others, such as your ex, just see it as a way to make more money.

The way to change it, so that she gets the money instead of him, is to change the Direct Deposit information so that the money goes into her account. She can do that by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551). I would also have her change the address on her VA Form 22-1990e, (and she could change her DD information there as well) so that any correspondence that is mailed out goes to her and not your ex.

However there is a risk in doing that – her father could revoke the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that he transferred to her if she has the money going to her instead of him. Good luck!

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