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Will I Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance If My Active Duty Husband is Drawing BAH?

Q: My husband is an active duty service member. I am a veteran with full benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. My question is can I get the MHA while my husband is getting BAH? How does that work? Are they going to give to me the MHA or are they taking my husband’s BAH? I’m starting school in a couple of months I just want to know what to do. Thank you. — Yadira

A: This is a question I frequently get asked Yadira and I think the reason it is so confusing is there are two different sets of rules when it comes to spouses of active duty personnel and Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance eligibility.

Because you have your own Post 9/11 GI Bill as a veteran, the normal rule for spouses of active duty personnel does not apply. In your case you would be treated as if your spouse was no longer on active duty, meaning you would get the full housing allowance authorized for you. And he still draws his BAH just like before you started school.

However, if you did not have your own Post 9/11 GI Bill, but were using benefits transferred from your active duty husband, then no you would not get the housing allowance too because that would be double-dipping which is against the law.

Keep in mind there are two housing allowance pay structures – one of you are taking all classes online and the other if you are taking classes on campus or a mix of online and on-campus.

If you are taking all classes online, then your housing allowance would max out at $754.50 per month (as of August 1st). Take a mix or all classes on campus and your housing allowance would almost double. Just something to think about.

In either case, the VA would still pay your tuition and eligible fees directly to your school and you would still get the book stipend each semester (up to the $1,000 yearly cap).

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