Top 9 questions about the Post 9/11 GI BILL

Who is eligible for the post 9/11 GI Bill

Veterans who have served on active duty at least 90 aggregate days after Sept. 10, 2001, or served at least 30 continuous days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001 and received a discharge for disability. Officers who graduated from service academies or received ROTC scholarships qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit. However, time spent satisfying the ROTC/service academy active duty obligation does not count toward the active duty service necessary to qualify for the benefits.

Am I Eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill If I Used All of My Benefits Under the Montgomery GI Bill?

If you used all 36 months of benefits under MGIB and you are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may receive up to 12 months of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, you cannot receive more than a maximum of 48 months of benefits any combination of Department of Veterans Affairs education programs.

Does the Post-9/11 GI Bill pay for vocational training programs?

Yes, as long as they are offered by Institutions of Higher Learning.

How Are Benefits Paid?

There are three different payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill:
  • Tuition and fees, paid directly to the school, not to exceed the maximum in-state undergraduate tuition and fees at a public institution.
  • Monthly housing allowance, paid to the individual
  • Books and supplies stipend, paid to the individual

How do I apply?

Electronic application forms can be completed and submitted online at If you can’t apply online, you can call 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to have a form mailed to you.
You can also get an application form at the school you wish to attend. The VA certifying official at the school (usually in the registrar’s or financial aid office) should have the forms. They can help you fill them out and will submit them to Department of Veterans Affairs.

How Long Do I Have to Use the Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are payable for 15 years following the individual’s release from active duty

What Benefits Does the Post-911 GI Bill Pay?

Tuition and Fees: Veterans may be eligible for full payment of their tuition and fees, not to exceed the maximum in-state undergraduate tuition and fees at a public Institution in the state in which the student is enrolled. Housing Allowance: The housing allowance is equivalent to Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents, based on the ZIP code of the school where the student is enrolled. However, active duty service members, anyone enrolled half time or less and those pursuing entirely distance learning are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance. Books and Stipends: A books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year can be paid, which is prorated based upon the student’s payment rate. Active duty members are not eligible for this payment. Tutoring: Benefits for tutorial assistance or up to $2,000 for the reimbursement of one licensing or certification test is available. Moving costs: A one-time rural benefit payment of $500 to individuals who reside in a county with six persons or fewer per square mile (as determined by the most recent decennial census), and who either: • physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution or • relocate by air to attend an educational institution (if no other land-based transportation exists.)

Can I Transfer My Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Family?

A special provision of the program allows career service members the opportunity to share their education benefits with immediate family members. As long as you meet the requirements for transferring your Post 9/11 GI Bill, the actual transfer procedure is easy. You have to be on active duty and you have to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill to transfer your benefits. You also have to have been in the military for at least 6 years to be eligible to transfer your benefits. Your children will have to be registered in DEERS to receive your benefits. Your children will not be able to use the benefits until you have been in the military for 10 years and they have until they turn 26 years old to use the benefits. When they are ready to attend school they just need to go to the VONAPP website and apply for their GI Bill benefits.

Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefits

Aid and Attendance Benefits

Benefits available through the Veterans Administration are the most commonly overlooked benefits available to seniors. Many times, veterans and their spouses make incorrect assumptions related to their entitlement to VA benefits. These individuals will assume that since they did not retire from the military they are not entitled to any benefits from the VA, or the will assume that since they were not injured during their service they are not entitled to any benefits from the VA. While there are in fact benefits available to retired veterans and veterans with service connected disabilities, these are not the only benefits available.

The most commonly overlooked VA benefit is called the “Aid and Attendance” benefit. Of the people who have heard of this benefit, many have been incorrectly told that they do not qualify. The reality is, this benefit is available to many veterans and their spouses and can prove to be a lifesaver when times get tough.

In order to qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, the veteran must have served at least ninety (90) days of active duty. Of those ninety days, at least one of the days must have been during a designated period of war. This does not mean that the veteran had to have serve in combat. It is merely a requirement that the veteran’s service occurred during one of the periods of time where the United States had declared war. Official periods of war include: the Mexican Border, May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917; World War I, April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918 (April 1, 1920, if served in Russia); World War II, December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946; Korean Conflict, June 27, 1950, to January 31, 1955; Vietnam War, August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975 (February 28, 1961, if served in Vietnam); and the Persian Gulf War, August 2, 1990 to unknown date.

In addition to the Veterans active duty service, he or she must have been discharged from the military in some way other than dishonorably. This could include an honorable discharge, an other than honorable discharge, a general discharge or a medical discharge. Even if a veteran was dishonorably discharged, it may still be possible to petition VA to have the dishonorable discharge changed to one of the other forms of discharge.

A veteran who meets the above noted requirements is considered a wartime veteran. So what about the spouse of a wartime veteran? The surviving spouse of a wartime veterans is also entitled to the Aid and Attendance benefit, if he or she was married to the veteran for at least one year, married to the veteran at the time of the veteran’s death and has not since remarried. There is no requirement that the spouse be married to be veteran during the veteran’s time of service. Additionally, if the widow of a veteran does remarry and his or her new spouse is also a veteran who meets the eligibility requirements, then the spouse can qualify under that second marriage instead.

The reason the VA benefit is termed the Aid and Attendance benefit, is because it is for veterans or their surviving spouses who need assistance with their normal activities of daily living. In order to meet this requirement, the applicant must be over sixty-five (65) years of age or blind or disabled and need someone else's help with their activities of daily living. Such a assistance might include help with feeding, bathing, getting dressed, meal preparation , financial management and similar items.

Finally, in order to qualify for this benefit, the applicants must have what the VA considers to be low monthly income and a normal net worth. However, a person should not assume that they do not meet these requirements without having a full understanding of what these terms mean. For example, when the VA uses the term “low monthly income,” they are referring to Income for VA Purposes (IVAP). IVAP is defined as the total household income minus any unreimbursed medical expenses. Such unreimbursed medical expenses might include insurance premiums, copays, prescription drugs and the cost of in home care or assisted living. For example, a veteran with $4,000.00 in monthly income might not consider himself to have low monthly income. But if this veteran lives in an assisted living facility that charges $3,500.00 a month in rent, then the veteran’s Income for VA Purposes is only $500.00 per month. That would meet the definition of low monthly income.

The VA also requires an applicant to have a normal net worth. Unlike other federal programs, the VA does not define normal net worth. Instead, the VA will look at a person’s net worth in relation to how much they are spending and their life expectancy. Therefore, a younger veteran might be entitled to keep more assets than an older veteran. Typically, the VA does not count the value of a home in its determination of net worth. With a thorough understanding of the rules and the guidance of someone experienced with dealing with the VA, many people can meet this section of the eligibility test.

So, why is all of this discussion about the Aid and Attendance benefit so important? For those who qualify, the VA will send money that the person can use to help pay for their care. A surviving spouse of a veteran could receive a maximum benefit of approximately $1,100.00 per month, a single veteran could receive a maximum benefit of approximately $1,700.00 per month and a veteran with a dependent spouse could receive a maximum benefit of approximately $2,200.00 per month.

Let’s take Sally as an example. Sally is the surviving spouse of a veteran who served during the Korean conflict. She is seventy-nine years old and her Social Security and retirement income totals $2,000.00 per month. Sally's health has declined and although she still lives at home, it is becoming more and more difficult for her to take care of herself. Sally looked at one of the local assisted living facilities and really liked what she saw. However, when she was told that the monthly cost would be $2,500.00, she assumed that she could not afford that much expense and continued to live at home in an unsafe environment. But after applying for the Aid and Attendance benefit through the VA. Sally was able to receive the maximum VA benefit of $1,100.00 per month. This increased her income to $3,100.00 dollars and she can now afford to live in the assisted living facility that she thought she could not afford.