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With a Disability Rating of 50%, How Does That Change My Post 9/11 GI Bill Tier Percentage?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I was deployed as a Reservist in 2003 for 12 months and then received an Honorable discharge in 2009. I have since sought a disability rating and am being told that I will likely get a rating of 50% service related disability. Where does that leave me in relation to the Post 9/11 Bill? Do I qualify only for my 12 months of service or does my rating as a disabled veteran at 50% change the percent? Thank you. — Dane

A: Your disability rating has nothing to do with your Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility Dane. You would get the same whether you had a disability rating of 100% or 0%.

What does control New GI Bill eligibility is the number of months of eligible time. As a Reservist, the only time that counts is your deployed time, unless you happen to be in the Title 32 AGR program; if so that time counts toward your eligibility also.

But if all the eligible time you have is your 12 months deployment in 2003, then you will be at the 60% tier, meaning everything the VA pays will be at that percentage. So if you are a full-time student at a public institution, the VA would pay 60% of your tuition and fees. If you are attending a private institution, then they could pay a maximum of $12,150 per year (60% of the $20,2235.02 per year maximum). Under either venue, the 40% difference left would be your responsibility to pay. And because you are not at the 100% tier, the Yellow Ribbon Program would not apply.

As far as the monthly housing allowance, you would get 60%$ of the amount calculated from the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take. If less than full-time, then you would have to take your 60% figure and multiply it by your rate of pursuit percentage. For example, if your school considered 12 credits to be full-time and you were taking 9, then you would multiply your 60% figure, by 75%, so you would get 75% of the 60%.

For the book stipend, you would get 60% of the $41.67 per credit per semester (up to the $600) per year limit).

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