Post 9/11 GI Bill

Army National Guard: Drilling

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary:

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33 benefits) is an education benefit program specifically for military members who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Depending on an individual's situation, provisions of the program may include coverage of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a books and supplies stipend, Yellow Ribbon payments, college fund or "kicker", rural benefit payments and transferability to eligible immediate Family members (Spouse and Children).

Eligibility:

National Guard Soldiers ond drill status that served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001, or served 30 continuous days on active duty after September 10, 2001 and were honorably discharged for a service-connected disability, are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Active-duty service time required by graduates of a Service Academy or ROTC does NOT count toward the three years necessary to qualify for benefits.

Benefit Highlights:

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides different percentage levels of education benefit depending on an individual's length of active duty service following September 10, 2001. Soldiers are eligible for up to 36 months of entitlement. Benefits are available for up to 15 years from a Soldier's last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. Soldiers released from active duty due to a service-connected disability after 30 days or more of continuous service are also eligible for benefits for 15 years. This education benefit, unlike previous GI Bill versions, can be transferred to immediate Family members. The VA began accepting Post-9/11 GI Bill applications on August 1, 2009.

Education Covered

Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes both undergraduate and graduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing program, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits.

Maximum Basic Benefit

The maximum basic benefit of the Post 9/11 GI Bill is available to Soldiers that serve an aggregate of 36 months or more of active duty service or 30 continuous days of active service and honorably discharged for a service-connected disability after September 10, 2001. The maximum benefit provides:

1) Full tuition & fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition & fees are capped at $20,235.02 per academic year;

  • Soldiers attending a private Institution of Higher Learning in AZ, MI, NH, NY, PA, SC or TX may be eligible for a higher tuition reimbursement rate.
  • Soldiers attending a more expensive private school or public school as a non-resident out-of-state student, a program exists which may help to reimburse the difference called the VA Yellow Ribbon Program.

2) Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing (BAH) payable to an E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as the school (https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm)*;

3) Stipend of up to $1,000 per year for books and supplies*, proportionately based on enrollment;

4) College fund or "kicker" based on the "rate of pursuit" (full- or part-time study) issued monthly with the housing allowance; and,

5) One-time payment of $500 to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas-defined as a county with 6 or less persons per square mile as evident by the most recent decennial census-by either physically relocating at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution, or traveling by air to physically attend and educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists.

*NOTE: The housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies are not paid to individuals still on active duty or those pursuing training at half time or less; individuals enrolled in distance learning receive the books and supplies stipend but do not receive the housing allowance.

Percentage Benefit

Individuals that serve between 90 days and less than 36 months of aggregate active duty service are eligible for a percentage of the maximum benefit. For those Soldiers, the percentage level ranges from 40% to 90% of the basic benefit depending on length or service during the qualifying period. Those with service between 90 days and less than 6 months receive a 40% benefit; 30-36 months of service qualify for 90%.

Example: Soldier with 5 months of qualifying service (at least 90 days, but less than 6 months) could receive 40% of the tuition benefit, 40% of the monthly housing allowance, and a maximum of $400 of the books and supplies stipend.

Benefit Earned Based on Qualifying Active Duty Service

Individuals serving an aggregate period
of active duty after September 10, 2001 of:

Includes entry level
  and skill training?

     Percentage of
     Maximum Benefit

At least 36 months

Yes

      100%

At least 30 continuous days on active duty
(Discharged due to service-connected disability)

Yes

      100%

At least 30 months, but less than 36 months

Yes

       90%

At least 24 months, but less than 30 months

Yes

       80%

At least 18 months, but less than 24 months

No

       70%

At least 12 months, but less than 18 months

No

       60%

At least 6 months, but less than 12 months

No

       50%

At least 90 days, but less than 6 months

No

       40%

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program provision of the Post 9/11 GI Bill only applies to those Soldiers that are entitled to the maximum benefit rate. This provision is an agreement between institutions of higher learning (IHL) and the VA to fund tuition costs above the highest tuition rate of $20,235.02. For Soldiers enrolled in eligible IHLs the VA will pay all resident tuition & fees for a public school and the higher of the actual tuition & fees or $20,235.02 per academic year for a private school (an exception to this exists for students enrolled in private schools in AZ, MI, NH, NY, PA, SC or TX. In these cases, the VA will pay the higher of the actual tuition & fees or the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition & fees). To search for the Yellow Ribbon Program participating institutions click here.

Prior MGIB Eligibility

If Soldiers are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve, or Reserve Educational Assistance Program AND qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill they may make an irrevocable election to receive benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. After transferring, Soldiers are not eligible to receive benefits under the program from which they transferred. For many eligible Soldiers, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is a better solution than other education benefit programs but this depends on several factors including the type of education or training and the amount of benefits received under each program (Benefit Comparison: http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/).

Individuals transferring from the Montgomery GI Bill (chapter 30) will receive a refund of a proportional amount (based on the number of months remaining under MGIB at the time of Post-9/11 election) of their basic $1,200 contribution. This refund will be included in the last monthly housing allowance payment when Post-9/11 (Chapter 33) entitlement exhausts. Those who do not exhaust entitlements under the Post 9/11 GI Bill will not receive a refund. No one is authorized a refund of the additional $600 Buy-Up Program contribution.

Transfer of Benefits to Family Members

Transfers must be requested and approved while the member is serving in the Armed Forces

Eligible Soldiers may transfer their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits after August 1, 2009 to their immediate Family members:

  • The Soldier's Spouse.
  • One or more of the Soldier's children.
  • Any combination of Spouse and child.
  • A Family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits, at the time of transfer to receive transferred educational benefits.

The policy and rules for transferability are determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services (http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_transfer.asp).

The option to transfer is open to any member of the armed forces active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and meets the following criteria:

  • Has at least six years of service in the armed forces (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of approval and agrees to serve four additional years in the armed forces from the date of election.
  • Has at least 10 years of service in the armed forces (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of approval, is precluded by either standard policy (by Service Branch or DoD) or statute from committing to four additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.
  • Is or becomes retirement-eligible and agrees to serve an additional four years of service on or after Aug 1, 2012. A Service member is considered to be retirement eligible if he or she has completed 20 years of active federal service or 20 qualifying years as computed (pursuant to section 12732 of title 10 U.S.C.).
  • Transfer requests are submitted and approved while the member is in the armed forces.

Soldiers approved to transfer their benefits to eligible immediate Family members enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) may transfer up to the remaining months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, or the entire 36 months if the member has used none (unless DoD/DHS limits the number of months an individual may transfer).

  • Spouse-
    • May start the benefit immediately
    • May use the benefit while the Soldier remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
    • Is not eligible for the monthly housing allowance stipend while the member is serving on active duty
    • Can use the benefit for up to 15 years after the Soldier's last separation from active duty
    • A subsequent divorce does not affect the Spouse's ability to receive educational benefits but the Soldier retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time
  • Children-
    • May start use of benefit only after Soldier completes at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces
    • May use the benefit while the Soldier remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
    • Cannot use the benefit until a secondary school diploma or equivalency certificate is received or reaches 18 years of age
    • Entitled to the monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies while Soldier is on active duty
    • Not subject to the 15-year delimiting date but may not use the benefit after reaching 26 years of age

Additional Information:

VA Post-9/11 web site:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp

VA Post 9/11 Pamphlet:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch33_pamphlet.pdf

DoD Post-9/11 GI Bill Website:
http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/

Transferability:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_transfer.asp

Payment Rates:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/resources/benefits_resources/rates/ch33/ch33rates080114.asp

Document Review Date: 7 November 2014