Post-9/11 GI Bill Overview For Massachusetts Servicemembers and Family

by | Dec 6, 2021 | Military Divorce |

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides education benefits for those who have served on active duty for 90 or more days after Sep. 10, 2001.The payment rate depends on how much active duty time a member has.

What It Pays

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has several parts including:

What Can You Use It For?

You can use your Post-911 GI Bill for many things including:

  • College degrees like Associate, Bachelor, or higher
  • Vocational/Technical Training including non-college programs
  • On-the-job/Apprenticeship Programs
  • Licensing & Certification Reimbursement
  • National Testing Programs like SAT, CLEP, AP, etc
  • Flight Training
  • Correspondence Training
  • Work-study
  • Tuition Assistance Top-Up
  • Tutorial Assistance

The Post-9/11 GI Bill can pay your full tuition & fees at school, provide you with a monthly housing allowance while you are going to school, and give you up to $1,000 a year to use for books and supplies.

If you live in the middle of nowhere the Post-9/11 GI Bill will even provide you with a one-time relocation allowance to move to where your school is located.

Another provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows eligible service members to transfer their unused benefits to family members.

Post-9/11 benefit payments are tiered based on the amount of creditable active-duty service you have since Sep. 10, 2001. See the table below to determine your benefit tier.

Basic Eligibility Criteria for Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

At a minimum, you must have served at least 30 days of continuous active duty service after Sep. 10, 2001 and be discharged due to a service-connected disability, or served an aggregate of 90 days of active duty service after that date and received an honorable discharge..

For Reservists and Guard members the following active duty qualifies for Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility:

  • All Title 10 active duty supporting named contingency operations
  • Title 32 service for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard
  • Title 32 service under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency
  • All voluntary active duty, with the exception of active duty for medical care and medical evaluation

What You Qualify For

If You Are You Qualify For
Tuition and Fees Monthly Housing Allowance Book Stipend Yellow Ribbon Relocation
On Active Duty X X Note 1
Veteran X X X X X
Spouse Using Transferred Benefits X NOTE 1 X Note 1 X
Child Using Transferred Benefits X X X X X

Note 1: A spouse cannot get the Monthly Housing Allowance or Yellow Ribbon benefit if the sponsor is still on active duty.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefit Tiers

Your Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and housing allowance payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. If you are discharged for disability after at least 30 days of active duty you automatically receive the 100% benefit tier. Active duty time for the Post-9/11 GI Bill can also include Title 10 mobilizations and some title 32 duty for reservists & guard members. The following table shows the benefit tiers and corresponding active duty time:

Post-9/11 Service Percentage of Maximum Amount Payable
At least 36 months 100%
At least 30 continuous days on active duty and must be discharged due to service-connected disability or received a Purple Heart 100%
At least 30 months, but less than 36 months 90%
At least 24 months, but less than 30 month 80%
At least 18 months, but less than 24 months 70%
At least 6 months, but less than 18 months 60%
At least 90 days, but less than 6 months 50%

Tuition and Fees

VA will pay your tuition & fee payments directly to the school. Tuition payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service after Sep. 10, 2001.

For example, if you have 24 months active duty after Sept. 10, 2001 your GI Bill benefit tier percentage is 80%. If you are attending a public school with tuition of $10,000 per semester, 80% of your tuition and fees or $8,000 would be paid by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The GI Bill can pay up to the full resident tuition at any public school, if you are qualified to receive benefits at the 100% rate based on your active service shown above.

Public schools must offer resident tuition to all veterans who have been out of the military for less than 3 years, their dependents using transferred benefits, and the dependents using transferred benefits of active duty members.

If you are attending a private or foreign school, the VA will pay you an annual maximum of $26,042.81.

Monthly Housing Allowance

The Post-9/11 GI Bill also pays a Monthly Housing Allowance based on the ZIP code of the location of the school or campus you are attending the majority of your classes. This stipend currently averages $1,833 a month, but can exceed $2,700 depending on where you go to school. Students taking 100% of their courses online are eligible for a monthly stipend equal to half of the national average stipend, which is currently $916.50.

Housing allowance payments are based on your active-duty service after Sept. 10, 2001.

For example, if you have 24 months active duty after Sept. 10, 2001 your GI Bill benefit tier percentage is 80%. If you are attending a school which has a Monthly Housing Allowance of $1000/month you would receive 80% of your housing allowance or $800/month.

This stipend is based on the DoD’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. This stipend does not require students to live on campus.

NOTE: Servicemembers currently on active duty, their spouses using transferred benefits and those taking courses on a half-time basis or less do not qualify for Monthly Housing Allowance.

Your housing allowance is also based on your training time, AND you must be training at greater than 1/2 time training to receive a Monthly Housing Allowance.

If you are taking undergraduate classes your training time is determined as follows:

If 12 credits is considered full-time, a course load of 6 credits yields a training time of 50% (6 ÷ 12 = .50), whereas a course load of 7 credits yields a training time of 58% (7 ÷ 12 = .58). In this scenario, a veteran would need to enroll for at least 7 credits (such as two 3-credit classes and a 1-credit lab) in order to receive the housing allowance benefits.

For graduate training the VA will pay your benefits based on what the school reports your training time to be. So, if you are taking 3 graduate hours and the school tells the VA that you are considered a full-time student, that is what the VA will pay you.

Once the training time is determined, the monthly housing allowance is paid at the nearest 10% level. For instance if your training time is determined to be 58% as calculated above you will be paid 60% of the applicable housing allowance. If your training time is calculated to be 84% you will be paid 80% of the applicable housing allowance.

Book and Supply Stipend

You may receive an annual book stipend of up to $1,000/year with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This stipend will be paid at the beginning of each term. It is paid proportionately based on the number of credits taken by each student at $41 per credit hour.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Post-9/11 GI Bill also includes a provision to help students avoid some or all of the out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with education programs that may exceed the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition benefit. The Yellow Ribbon Program is not automatic, schools must enter into an agreement with the VA to share the expense.

To qualify to receive the Yellow Ribbon benefits you must meet the following criteria:

  • Qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% benefit tier
  • Be attending an approved Institute of Higher Learning in the U.S.

One-Time Relocation Allowance

You may also receive a one-time rural relocation benefit payment of $500.00 to help cover the cost of relocating from a rural location to attend school.

To qualify you must:

  • Be an otherwise eligible veteran.
  • Reside in a county with 6 persons or less per square mile (as determined by the most recent decennial census) and:
  • Either physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution – or –
  • Travel by air to physically attend an educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists.

Benefit Transferability

DoD authorizes individuals who have served at least 6 years in the military and who agree to serve at least another 4 years to transfer their unused GI Bill to family members. DOD and the individual services can make changes to this policy at any time.

NOTE: You can only transfer benefits while on active duty.

Should you be in the midst of a military divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

Set Up A Free Initial Consultation