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If Divorced, Can I Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If I am divorced not receiving any BAH, yet my ex-husband is active and is receiving BAH…I AM STILL ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE HOUSING STIPEND, based on the fact that “I” am not receiving BAH benefits? If I provide VA with divorce decree and a letter verifying that I am not receiving BAH payments, does this make me eligible for the housing stipend?

A: No you can’t get the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing stipend if your ex-spouse is still serving and drawing BAH. That is the official policy of the VA. Now if your spouse chooses not to receive BAH, then you would be eligible for the housing allowance.

It doesn’t matter if you send in a divorce decree and a letter stating that you are not receiving BAH, you won’t get the housing allowance.
However with that said, some divorce lawyers skilled in military divorces have been successful in pressing the courts to allow the service member to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to the ex-spouse in lieu of the service member paying alimony prior to the final proceedings. The service member must still decline taking BAH, but would not have to pay an additional amount in alimony.

But with your divorce already final, that is most likely not an option. However even though you are not getting the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, hopefully you are getting a monthly alimony and you should be getting your tuition paid and receiving the book stipend.

The thing that could really hurt you now is if your ex-spouse would pull back your remaining unused Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, which unless that was addressed
in the divorce proceeding, s/he is entirely within his/her right to do so. If your lawyer was sharp, s/he put in a clause that would indemnify your ex-husband if he tried to revoke your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

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