Blog

GI Bill Top 5 Things to Know

GI Bill Top 5 Things to Know-Photo

Military.com By Terry Howell

FACT #1. YOU HAVE 10 – 15 YEARS TO USE YOUR GI BILL BENEFITS.
Once you have separated from the service you have 10 years to use all of your benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill and 15 years to use your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Although separating from service “starts the clock” on your time limit, you should know that if you rejoin active-duty service for more than 90 days before your time limit expires the clock resets. In other words, you get 10 – 15 years from your last discharge.

Example: Seaman Smith left active duty and joined the Navy Reserve. Three years later she returned to active duty with twelve years remaining on her GI Bill clock. At that point, the clock is reset at the 15-year mark when she leaves the active duty service again, at which point the 15 year clock will start ticking again. She now has a fresh 15 years left to use ALL of her benefits or she will lose her remaining balance, which then returns to Uncle Sam.

FACT #2. THE GI BILL IS NOT FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID.
The GI Bill is not considered Financial Aid in the traditional sense. College and University financial aid departments do not consider the GI Bill financial aid because it is normally paid directly to you, not the school. Most schools will require you to sign a promissory note or apply for student loans to pay them upfront. You will then be required to pay these loans  –  hopefully with your GI Bill payments.

This also means that you are eligible for student loans, scholarships, and Pell Grants along with the GI Bill.

Note: Although un-taxable, GI Bill benefit payments reduce the amount of student financial aid you are eligible to receive.

FACT #3. YOU CAN STOP AND START USING THE GI BILL AS NEEDED.
Unfortunately, many people believe that once you apply for benefits you have to remain enrolled in school to get the full benefit. Thankfully that’s not true; you can use the GI Bill for any period of time. Take time off and re-apply to use it again at a later date (keeping in mind fact number one).

You can also use it as you progress towards your education goal. If you use your benefits wisely, your GI Bill benefits can help you finish your associates, work on your bachelor’s, and later, complete your master’s degree.

FACT #4. A “MONTH” OF BENEFITS DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN A MONTH.
The GI Bill benefit provides 36 months of education benefits. The term “months” can often be confusing. The “36 months” of benefits does not mean you have only 36 months to use it, nor does it mean you must use it all in one 36 month period.

There are two ways the term month is used.  One way is for active duty, and the other is used for veterans. The following should help you to better understand this aspect of the GI Bill.

For the Post-9/11 GI Bill:

If you go to classes full time for either 1 month or 30 days you use 1 month worth of benefits. For example, if your classes go from February 1 to March 15 you use 1.5 months of benefits (1 month for February – since it is a calendar month, and 1/2 month for March – since you were in classes for 15 days.)

For the Montgomery GI Bill: If you are a veteran you are basically charged one month of entitlement for each month of full-time training you take.

If you are on active duty and you go to school full-time for four months, but your tuition is only $1,000, you will still be charged for four months of your 36 month entitlement. In this example a “month” actually does mean a month.

If you are using your GI Bill for training other than college or vocational training, there are different rules. See our Flight Training, Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training, or National Testing Programs pages for specific information.

FACT #5. THE GI BILL PAYS ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF CREDITS YOU TAKE AND HOW MUCH ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE YOU HAVE.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays according to several factors, the main factors being number of months served on active duty and the number of credit pursued. If you are attending a public school, the Post-9/11 GI Bill can pay your full tuition directly to the school. You will receive a monthly housing allowance and up to $1000 a year for books and supplies. The housing allowance is paid at a percentage based on your active duty service, and your credit load. See our Post-9/11 Overview page for detailed information.

The Montgomery GI Bill payment rates are based on several factors, the biggest being your credit load.  For example a full-time student using the Montgomery GI Bill will get up to $1,928, while a half-time student will only get half that amount. Learn more about how GI Bill Payment Rates work.

You can apply for the GI Bill online by going to the VA’s vets.gov website and completing an online application. For more details, see the Post-9/11 GI Bill Application Process and get started using your benefits today!

© Copyright 2018 Military.com.

 

2018 VA Compensation Rates

2018 VA Compensation Rates

The following tables show the 2018 VA compensation rates for veterans with a disability rating 10 percent or higher. (Effective Dec. 1, 2017)

DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE:

In addition veterans entitled to compensation whose disability is rated as 30 percent or more, are entitled to additional compensation for dependents as follows (monthly amounts):

WITHOUT CHILDREN:

Disability Rating: 30% – 60% Disability Rating: 70% – 100%

WITH CHILDREN:

Disability Rating: 30% – 60% Disability Rating: 70% – 100%

You may also be interested in: Dependency & Indemnity Compensation a VA benefit for survivors of disabled veterans.

10% – 20% (WITH OR WITHOUT DEPENDENTS)

Percentage Rate
10% $136.24
20% $269.30

30% – 60% WITHOUT CHILDREN

Dependent Status 30% 40% 50% 60%
Veteran Alone $417.15 $600.90 $855.41 $1,083.52
Veteran with Spouse Only $466.15 $667.90 $938.41 $1,182.52
Veteran with Spouse and One Parent $505.15 $720.90 $1,004.41 $1,262.52
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents $544.15 $773.90 $1,070.41 $1,341.52
Veteran with One Parent $456.15 $653.90 $921.41 $1,163.52
Veteran with Two Parents $495.15 $706.90 $988.41 $1,242.52
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $46.00 $61.00* $76.00 $91.00

70% – 100% WITHOUT CHILDREN

Dependent Status 70% 80% 90% 100%
Veteran Alone $1,365.48 $1,587.25 $1,783.68 $2,973.86
Veteran with Spouse Only $1,481.48 $1,719.25 $1,932.68 $3,139.67
Veteran with Spouse and One Parent $1,574.48 $1,825.25 $2,051.68 $3,272.73
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents $1,667.48 $1,931.25 $2,170.68 $3,405.79
Veteran with One Parent $1,458.48 $1,693.25 $1,902.68 $3,106.92
Veteran with Two Parents $1,551.48 $1,799.25 $2,021.68 $3,239.98
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $106.00 $122.00 $137.00 $152.06

30% – 60% WITH CHILDREN

Dependent Status 30% 40% 50% 60%
Veteran with Spouse and Child $503.15 $714.19 $998.41 $1,255.52
Veteran with Child Only $450.15 $644.90 $910.41 $1,149.52
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child $542.15 $767.90 $1,064.41 $1,334.52
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child $581.15 $820.90 $1,130.41 $1,413.52
Veteran with One Parent and Child $489.15 $697.90 $976.41 $1,228.52
Veteran with Two Parents and Child $528.15 $750.90 $1,042.41 $1,307.52
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18 $24.00 $32.00 $41.00 $49.00
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a) $79.00 $106.00 $133.00 $159.00
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $46.00 $61.00 $76.00 $91.00

70% – 100% WITH CHILDREN

Dependent Status 70% 80% 90% 100%
Veteran with Spouse and Child $1,566.48 $1,816.25 $2,041.68 $3,261.10
Veteran with Child Only $1,442.48 $1,675.25 $1,882.68 $3,084.75
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child $1,659.48 $1,922.25 $2,160.68 $3,394.16
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child $1,752.48 $2,028.25 $2,279.68 $3,527.22
Veteran with One Parent and Child $1,535.48 $1,781.25 $2,001.68 $3,217.81
Veteran with Two Parents and Child $1,628.48 $1,887.25 $2,120.68 $3,350.87
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18 $57.00 $65.00 $74.00 $82.38
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 (see footnote a) $186.00 $212.00 $239.00 $266.13
Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) $106.00 $122.00 $137.00 $152.06

FOOTNOTES:

  • A. Rates for each school child are shown separately. They are not included with any other compensation rates. All other entries on this chart reflecting a rate for children show the rate payable for children under 18 or helpless. To find the amount payable to a 70% disabled Veteran with a spouse and four children, one of whom is over 18 and attending school, take the 70% rate for a veteran with a spouse and 3 children, $ 1,680.48, and add the rate for one school child, $186.00. The total amount payable is $1,866.48.
  • B. Where the veteran has a spouse who is determined to require A/A, add the figure shown as “additional for A/A spouse” to the amount shown for the proper dependency code. For example, veteran has A/A spouse and 2 minor children and is 70% disabled. Add $106.00, additional for A/A spouse, to the rate for a 70% veteran, $1,623.48. The total amount payable is $1,729.48.

These rates were provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The original copies can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

VA TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

Reimbursement for mileage or public transportation may be paid to the following:

  1. Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated at 30% or more;
  2. Veterans traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition;
  3. Veterans receiving a VA pension;
  4. Veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations;
  5. Veterans whose income does not exceed the maximum VA pension rate;

Mileage Reimbursement is at the rate of 41.5 cents per mile. These mileage subject to a deductible of $3 for a one way trip, $6 for a round trip, with a maximum of $18 per or the amount after six one-way trips (whichever occurs first) per calendar month. However, these deductibles can be waived if they cause a financial hardship to the veteran.

The deductible is also waived for veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations.