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What Are My GI Bill Benefits as a Medically But Honorably Discharged Reservist?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, thank you for this opportunity I am seeking clarity about benefits for a reservist inactive duty. I was discharged in December of last year from my unit because of medical/mental health reasons. I received an Honorable discharge and I wanted to know what benefits are available to me?

A: If you all you have is the Reserve GI Bill, then you don’t have any education benefits left to use. The unique thing about this GI Bill is the opportunity to use those benefits expires either after 10 years of service or upon discharge.

However if deployed anytime on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation after September 10, 2001, then you could have some eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. A one-year tour would put you at the 60% tier. A total of 36 months of deployment would put you at the top – 100%.

If you do have some coverage under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then you could go to school for up to 36 months. The VA would pay your tuition at your tier percentage directly to your school. You would get the monthly housing allowance and book stipend. The housing allowance is based on the zip code of the school and the number of credits you take.

The book stipend is paid at the rate of $41.67 per credit per semester with a $1,000 yearly cap. If you are at a lesser percentage than 100%, then both your monthly housing allowance and book stipend would be pro-rated according to your tier level as well as your tuition. The unpaid portion of tuition would be your responsibility to pay.

However if you are at 100%, then you could possibly also use the Yellow Ribbon Program to help pay the difference providing your school is part of the program and you could secure one of their Yellow Ribbon Program spots.

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