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If I Got Out of the Army on a Hardship, Do I Still Get the GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If you get out of the Army on a hardship, do you still receive your GI Bill?

A: Yes you do get the GI Bill on a hardship discharge. You’ll get one month of benefit for each month served, but depending on which Bill you have, they will pay differently.

With the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), it is pretty straight-forward. You’ll get up to $1,321 per month for the number of months you served to go to school and you will have to pay all your own education expenses, such as tuition, books and fees.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the number of months you served will equate to a tier percentage. For example, if you served 18 months, before getting out on a hardship discharge, you’ll be at the 70% tier. So what does that mean?

It means you will get 36 months of education benefit, but you only get paid 70% of the full benefit, So:

  • the VA pays 70% of your tuition and fees directly to your school – you are responsible for the other 30%;
  • you get a monthly housing allowance, but only 70% of the E-5-with-dependents rate for the zip code of your school;
  • you get up to 70% of the book and supplies stipend, or up to $700.00 instead of the $1,000.

Regardless, of which Bill you use, both of them will pay you something to go to school; it is just for how long and the amount varies that between the two Bills.

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