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How Long Does It Take To Get My First Post-9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I was wondering about the process of the Post-9/11 GI Bill monthly housing. It seems that I have not received anything in the past two months. I thought the housing allowance was monthly. I understand the school payment takes about 8-12 weeks after it is certified. — Curtis W.

Yes Curtis, the VA pays you a monthly housing allowance along with your book stipend. Both will be sent directly to you as a check or deposited into your bank account, depending on how you set up your payment with the VA.

Ever since the VA released the Post-9/11 GI Bill on August 1 last year, they have been swamped with claims waiting to be processed. Until recently, the average time to process a claim was 10-20 weeks (closer to the 20-week mark rather than 10-week). While they have made significant progress, they are still running at least 10 weeks behind, so I would give your claim some additional time–at least another couple of weeks.

As you probably know, the VA calculates your Post-9/11 GI Bill housing allowance at the E-5 with dependents rate using the zip code of your school. Because of the zip code, the rate varies considerably throughout the nation.

You didn’t say in your question whether you were taking classes online or on campus. If you are taking only online classes, or are less than a half-time student, you do not get a housing allowance.

For your book stipend, you receive $41.67 per credit hour up to a maximum of $1,000 per academic year which equates to 12 credits per term.

81 responses on “How Long Does It Take To Get My First Post-9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

The biggest issue is the VA doesn’t have near the people and infrastructure they should have for the number of claims and applications they have to process. Because of the Zero Deficit Initiative, they can’t spend more than what Congress gives them, so they can’t hire more people or acquire more technology.

Volunteers would help solve the people problem, but not the shortage of computers for them to work at, only in the short term and only after an extensive train-up program. But volunteers are not a stable workforce that the VA could depend on for the long term, plus it probably violates some type of Federal Regulation. My point is if it was a valid option, I’m sure the VA would already be using it.

Something has to be wrong Ryan for it to take that long. You should have sen some money by the end of 2 1/2 months at the latest. I would enlist the help of your school’s VA certifying Official and see if that person an figure out what is going on. Most of the time, they have more clout and can get some answers.

Whenever i talk to the VA i swear i have this urge to be able to jump through the phone and strangle somebody. Its been 3 months and i havent recieved nothing for being CH 33 and when i called last week i was told my stuff wasn’t even processed yet. I am livid because i am 23 yrs old served a year downrange and got out because i was getting messed up in the head now i’m in school and have no way to pay my rent or car or gas or even food because the VA wants to take there time processing my stuff.

I have been waiting to receive these benefits for a few months now and have see nothing. It is extrmemly frusterating that I am nearing the halfway point in the semester and have spent nothing but my own money and put myself in debt because the VA process takes so long. I have written an e-mail everyday for the past week and have not received one response. I understand the VA is very backed up and continuously moving to process claims. But if it is this much of a problem with people receiving their benefits; why not get more help? Just doesn’t make sense…

I have been in class for 6 weeks going on seven now and still no housing allowance for currently taking 3 distance learning credit hours. My schools VA department submitted an enrollment certification on 12Sept2012 which I assume is what is required for me to get housing allowance?

It isn’t as easy as “getting more help”. The Department of Veterans Affairs is limited by the budget that Congress gives them. Under the current Zero Deficit initiative, an agency cannot outspend their budget, so the only way the VA can hire more help (and the infrastructure to support them such as computers) would be to get a bigger budget from Congress.

If it has been three months, then there is most likely something wrong. Normally you should see money in 8 to10 weeks once your school sends in a Certificate of Enrollment on your behalf. I would suggest contacting your VA Certifying Official at your school. S/he may be able to get some answers for you.

My husband has been enrolled in school almost 8 weeks so far, and he checked with the VA office at school today. They sent everything in, they are just that behind we were told. If it weren’t for student loans, we would really be in a mess waiting for the VA. We are needing the BAH pretty badly at this point. I understand being behind, but I am amazed that it is this back logged. I guess we should be lucky to get it before Christmas at this rate, right?

You are right now, but when the blog posted in 2010, that was not the case. The GI Bill 2.0 fix in 2011 is what established the online-only housing allowance for distance learning students.

Unfortunately Melissa, the VA is dependent on having to “get by” with what Congress give them for a budget. Under the Zero Deficit Initiative (I know, don’t laugh being our national debt is 3 trillion dollars and climbing) government agencies can’t outspend their budget. So for the VA to get “caught up”, then need more money so they can hire and train people and to purchase the necessary infrastructure to support the additional people, such as office space, desk and chairs, phones and computers.

My husband applied in July and every time we call or email we get that they are working on it. It would be nice to just know a date. He has been in school since August and we have had to apply for a student loan so he could continue going to school. It funny because if I owed them they just take their money.

If he has not received any money by now, then something is wrong. Have him check with his VA Certifying Official at his school and see if that person can get things ironed out. Once he starts receiving his pay, he will get the back pay he is due.

How long does it take to get the money once your school sends the certification? I got an email saying the VA received it from my school a few weeks ago.

I was wondering about online class n yes again as mentioned by a person on here on here you do get 684 for online. I did my vonapp n received an email sent to me January 31 from St. Louis saying that my claim was downloaded and I would be contacted but its 12 February and I haven’t heard anything via email and when I call I have to leave a message for them to call me back with the automated machine. It’s nerve racking and I have rent as well. I’m excited about attending ITT for criminal justice online but va needs to speed up the process. I served for nine years total prior service n all overseas injured now n al we ask is to receive what is due to us for Erving our country. Is anyone else taking online classes and if so how long did it take to receive your first payment. I won’t even talk about my disability claim that is taking forever and I started when I went on terminal leave of June 2012 it is now 12 February 2013.

We all agree that the “VA needs to speed up the process”, but getting them to do it has been a long process. They do have their LTS process in place and it is suppose to cut down the processing time as it incorporates 80 business rules that is suppose to automate much of the processing. Right now, the VA is talking about a 24 day processing time for new students. Six days for student already in the system.

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