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Understanding the Post 9/11 GI Bill

On August 1, 2009, the new Post 9/11 GI Bill was introduced. It is distinctly different from the old Montgomery GI Bill programs.

One of the major differences for families is that it allows for the benefits to be transferred to dependents in certain circumstances. While this was also possible with the Montgomery GI Bill programs as well, it was even more limited.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill differs in these main ways:

  • Tuition is paid directly to the school instead of to the soldier
  • The amount of tuition benefit differs by state based on the highest tuition rates for public institutions in that state
  • Soldiers receive a book allowance of $1,000
  • Soldiers receive BAH at the with dependents rate for an E-5 (regardless of rank) based on the school’s zip code (not available to active duty)
  • Benefits can be transferred to dependents more easily
  • The $1,200 buy-in that was required in the first year of service is no longer a necessity

Soldiers who signed up under the Montgomery GI Bill can transfer their benefits to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Be aware that this transfer is permanent and cannot be reversed. It is in your best interest to thoroughly compare benefits and payment amounts before switching to the new program.

For instance, if you are pursuing online classes only, you may not be eligible for BAH. In that instance, it may be better financially for you to stay with the old version of the GI Bill.

For more information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill (including how to sign up for it), visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • nova January 15, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Hi stacy my name is nova I’m a married to a soldier, and he just left to basic training about a week ago now we have a apartment together and bills that we share. I was wondering will the army help me pay his share of the bills while he is in training he told me he would not be able to help because he onli gets a extra hundred dollars

    • Stacey January 19, 2011, 11:07 am

      If you are married, he will be getting a housing allowance for you while he is in training. This should help to cover your bills while he is gone.

  • kierria April 10, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Hey I have a question. My fiance father is a retired from the army and the check he recieves from the army helps pay for my fiance college. If we get married would the army check stop for good?

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