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If My Husband and I Divorce, Can I Still Use My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Q: Hello! My husband and I are planning on getting a divorce, but he doesn’t want to leave me ‘hanging’. So he plans on signing over the Post 9/11 GI Bill to me before our divorce. My question is, when we get divorced, will I still be able to use the GI Bill? Or am I only allowed to use it (even if he signed it over) while married? Also, does the GI Bill require me to go to SOME schools or am I able to choose any school I wish? I plan on being a full time student. My husband says he’s eligible for 100% of it because of spending more than 36 months on active duty after 9/11. But he said something about housing allowance. What does the GI Bill pay other than school, books and supplies? Thank you very much!

A: As long as your husband makes the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer request and it is approved before your divorce, you will be able to use your transferred benefits. As far as which schools you can attend, the only requirement is the school you choose must be VA-approved for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This is important because some schools advertise as being GI Bill approved, but they are approved for the Montgomery GI Bill and not the Post 9/11. There is also a difference in how the VA pays depending on if your school is public or private.

With public schools, the VA pays actual tuition and fee charges. With private schools they pay up to $17,500 per year and you will have to pay the rest, unless your school is a Yellow Ribbon school.

You asked about the housing allowance. Being you plan on being a full-time student, you would get the full housing allowance that is authorized for the zip code of your school. You would receive it is monthly paid at the pay grade of E-5 with dependents. You should get your first payment about a month after starting school. Nationwide, it averages about $1,200 with both the East and West Coasts being about double that amount.

You will also get a book stipend towards the beginning of each semester calculated at $41.67 per credit up to a $1,000 per year limit, enough for 24 credits per year.

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