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Why Is My Son Only Getting 50% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill That I Transferred to Him?

Q: I transferred my Post 911 GI Bill to my son this Aug 2011 while I’m deployed here in Afghanistan. He is now in school, but I am told by VA that I only have 305 days of active duty. I enlisted in 1982 thru 1995, got out and then reenlisted Sept 2006. All that time was with PA Army Natl Guard. Then on Jan 2009, I transferred to USAR. I’m told by VA that I don’t get 100% for my son, just 50%, and no living stipend. Just yesterday, I received 2 checks, one for $494 .00 and one for $250.00 and that’s all he is entitled to? Really? I’m an E6 with 22 years of service, Please email me with guidance and direction. I’m very upset.

A: Let’s step through this and see if we can figure out why your son is only entitled to 50% and what he is entitled to.
First, none of your time from 1982 to 1995 will count toward the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Second, the only PA ARNG and USAR time that counts is the time you were (are) on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation, such as Afghanistan. If they calculated your tier level at 50%, then you have less than 12 months of eligible service – your 305 days in Afghanistan. Obviously, you were thinking more of your time would count toward the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

The part I’m not understanding is the “no living stipend” part, unless your son is taking 50% or less of the number of credits his school considers to be full-time. To qualify for the housing allowance, he needs to be taking at least 51% of the full-time credit amount. Because the housing allowance is calculated based on the zip code of the school and the number of credits he is taking, he would get 50% of that amount because of his tier level.

Until recently, he also would not have received a housing allowance if he was taking all his classes online, but that changed starting October 1st. Now online-only students get up to $673.50 per month, which is still only half of what brick and mortar students receive.
Regardless of the number of credits he is taking, he should get his book stipend at 50% of $41.67 per credit, up to $500 per year (50% of the $1,000 annual limit).

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