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If I Move Out On My Own, Will It Affect How Much I Get In Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My father transferred me his GI Bill benefits so that way I can go to school. I am still living at home and the GI Bill is transferred over to my name. If I move out on my own and have a roommate does that disqualify me for getting the benefits I am receiving now because I am no longer living at home with my parents?

A: There is nothing in the VA rules that say you have to live at home to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Whether you are at home or living with a roommate away from home, is immaterial in the eyes of the VA. And of course if you move out, it will not have an effect on your housing allowance as that is calculated based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking.

However, before you pack up, talk to your parents and here is why. If you alienate your father, he could revoke your GI Bill benefits. Now while that would be really petty of him to do that, I have heard of stranger things happening for a lot less.

Explain how you are responsible and that it is time to strike out on your own. Explain that your roommate is there to share the expenses, friendship and safety (instead of you being alone). But if you have a history as being a “party girl”, then they may have some reservations about letting you go out on your own. So who you are and what you do can play a big part in getting them to go along with your intent.

The other thing to keep in mind is it will be more expensive living on your own than living at home. Generally, parents charge less (if anything at all, if there kids are still living at home) than what you will pay even if you have a roommate sharing expenses. Then there is the security deposit, first month’s rent, laying in a supply of food, furnishings, possible increased transportation costs, etc.

Depending on how responsible you are, you may find there are more opportunities to distract you from your studies and your grades may drop. And yes, I’m being the devil’s advocate to a certain extent, but these are all considerations you should work out before taking the leap to being out on your own (even with a roommate).

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