Post 9/11 GI Bill/Chapter 33

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The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides a program of education benefits to individuals who served a minimum of 90 days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or to those individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Qualifying active duty service is active duty served as a member of the Armed Forces or as a result of a call or order to active duty from a reserve component under section 688, 12301(a), 12301(d), 12303(g), 12302, or 12304 of Title 10. The individual must have received an honorable discharge to qualify for this bill.

Explore Post 9/11 GI Bill details by clicking on each topic below.

Forms and Paperwork Required

The following documentation will be needed to start your Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits. VA Forms can be picked up at the EFSC Veterans Educational Benefits Office or downloaded from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs web site.

  • Certificate of Eligibility received from the VA or VA Form 22-1990 Application for Initial Education Benefits (copy of VONAPP application or paper copy)
  • VA Form 22-1995 Change of Program or Place of Training (form used if you have previously used the Post 9/11 GI Bill)
  • DD 214 (Copy 4) Report of Military Separation / Discharge
  • Prep Memo (see an academic advisor if you have to take developmental education preparatory classes)
  • Class schedule
  • Prior Credit Statement – this form will be given to you at the Veterans Educational Benefits Office to fill out

Period of Eligibility

In general, an individual’s eligibility to use Chapter 33 benefits expires 15 years from the date of the last discharge or release from active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.

In order to retain eligibility, after meeting the service requirements, an individual must:

  • Be honorably discharged from the Armed Forces; or
  • Be released from the Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable and placed on the retired list, temporary disability retired list, or transferred to the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; or
  • Be released from Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable for further service in a reserve component; or
  • Be discharged or released from Armed Forces for –
                        -   A medical condition which existed prior to service (EPTS);
                        -   Hardship (HDSP); or
                        -   A condition which interfered with duty (CIWD); or
                        -   Continue on active duty.

Chapter 33 Entitlement Rules

Individuals eligible under Chapter 33 are generally entitled to 36 months of educational assistance. Individuals may not receive benefits under Chapter 33 and 30, 31, 32, 35 of Title 38 or Chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of Title 10 concurrently. Individuals are limited to a maximum of 48 months of entitlement when using benefits under two or more programs.

Note: Individuals eligible under Chapter 30 who elect to receive benefits under Chapter 33 are only entitled to the number of months they had remaining under Chapter 30 at the time of their election (including any revoked months of transferred entitlement) up to a maximum of 36 months. If a person has used all of his/her Chapter 30 benefits before electing Chapter 33, then that person is entitled to up to 12 months of Chapter 33 under the 48 month rule.

Educational Assistance: How the benefits translate into financial assistance to pay tuition & fees

The amount of established charges (tuition and fees) payable for the entire quarter, semester or term will be sent directly to the school as a lump sum payment. Payment for fees is limited to those fees required of all similarly circumstanced students, but do not include such charges as parking fees, food plan charges, late fees, etc. The same is true for Study Abroad programs where we reimburse all normal fees except those associated with transportation, room & board, etc. 

TUITION & FEE REPORTS FOR TERMS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER AUGUST 1, 2011
The amount VA will pay for public schools is the full net cost of all tuition and fees for any approved program at the rate charged for in-state students. This means that VA will only pay the in-state amount of tuition and fees for students classified as non-resident. At Private schools VA will pay the full net cost of all tuition and fees for any approved program up to a maximum of $17,500 per academic year.

Net Cost:To determine the net cost a school must apply the following deductions to the total cost for tuition and fees before certifying tuition and fees to VA: any waiver of or reduction in tuition and fees, and any scholarship or other federal, state institutional, or employer-based aid or assistance that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying the cost of tuition and fees. Excluded from this calculation are any loans and any funds provided under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, also known as Title IV.

The percentage of the maximum benefit payable to an individual is based on the aggregate amount of active duty served on or after September 11, 2001. The amount payable for tuition & fees, housing, and books & supplies is modified by the appropriate percentages below. Effective March 5, 2011, these levels of eligibility also apply to active duty personnel.

The following table applies to all categories:

Post 9/11 Service Percentage of Maximum Amount Payable
At least 36 months 100%
At least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to a service-connected disability 100%
At least 30 months, but less than 36 months 90%
At least 24 months, but less than 30 months* 80%
At least 18 months, but less than 24 months 70%
At least 12 months, but less than 18 months 60%
At least 6 months, but less than 12 months 50%
At least 90 days, but less than 6 months 40%

Note: Service of 90 days but less than 24 months does not include entry level and skill training. Service of 24 months and greater does include entry level and skill training.

*If you back out entry level and skill training and the aggregate days of service are still at least 730 days, then the entry level and skill training is included in the aggregate for determination of the level of benefit. If backing out entry level and skill training brings the person’s service to less than 730 days, then it cannot be included in the aggregate for determination of the level of benefit.

Active Duty Military – Effective March 5, 2011 the amount payable for tuition and fees is the same as paid to veterans, i.e., actual net cost limited to the state resident rate at public institutions.

Monthly Housing Allowance

The monthly housing allowance is based on the monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payable for a military member with dependents in pay grade E-5 residing in the same ZIP code for the college or university where the individual is enrolled. Active duty members, spouses of active duty members, and individuals training at 50% pursuit or less are not eligible for a housing stipend.

The BAH is payable for all pursuit that includes at least one in resident unit subject and that is more than 50% of full time pursuit, e.g., where 12 semester hours would be full time, the full BAH would be payable for all pursuit of more than 6 semester hours. The amount payable is based upon the rate of pursuit rounded to the nearest tenth. For example, the rate of pursuit for a student pursuing 9 semester hours is 75%, rounded up to 80% - the student would receive 80% of the applicable housing allowance. The rate of pursuit for a student pursuing 11 semester hours is 92% rounded down to 90% - the student would receive 90% of the applicable housing allowance.

Effective October 1, 2011 where pursuit is entirely through independent study/online/hybrid/distance learning coursework and is more than 50% of pursuit, the housing allowance payable is 50% of the national average BAH and then at the rate of pursuit as determined above. For Example, a student is eligible at the 100% level and is pursuing 9 semester hours, all of it independent study/online/hybrid coursework. For 2011 the national average BAH is $1347: thus, fifty percent of that is $673.50. The student’s housing allowance will be $673.50 times the rate of pursuit which is 80%. This makes that student’s housing allowance payment $538.80 per month. Further Example – Students eligible at the 80% level, pursuing 11 semester hours (90% rate of pursuit), all of which are independent study/online/hybrid: Student’s housing allowance is 80% of otherwise payable amount ($673.50 X 80% level of benefit =$538.80) times rate of pursuit of 90%: for a monthly payment of $484.82.

To determine the BAH for your school’s zip code, go to the following Web address:
http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/bah.html

Stipend for Books and Supplies

Individuals may receive a stipend of up to $1000 a year for books, supplies, etc. The individual will receive a lump sum payment in the first month of each quarter, semester or term at the rate of $41.67 per credit hour up to a yearly total of 24 credits. NOTE: The amount of the monthly housing allowance and the book stipend must be prorated based on the percentage of maximum benefit payable as noted in the chart under the Educational Assistance category. Effective October 1, 2011 the book stipend is payable to active duty members.

Limitation on Educational Assistance for Training Pursued at Half Time or Less and for Active Duty Members 

Half-time training or less. Individuals training at half time or less are not eligible for the monthly housing stipend. They are eligible for an appropriately reduced stipend for books. The amount of educational assistance payable is the applicable percentage from the Educational Assistance chart, the lesser of:

  • Established charges; or
  • Highest amount of established charges regularly charged in-state undergraduate students for full-time pursuit at an in-state public Institute of Higher Learning.
  • Active duty members are not eligible for the monthly housing stipend. Effective 10/1/11 Active Duty members are eligible for the book stipend.
  • The amount of educational assistance payable is the lesser of the:
    •  Established charges; or
    •  The top-up amount not covered by military tuition assistance.

Kickers

Individuals eligible for a kicker (College Fund, Reserve Kicker) will remain eligible for such kicker under Chapter 33. Effective October 1, 2011 the kickers will be paid on a monthly basis with the housing allowance. Note: Individuals will not receive an increased amount for additional contributions ($600)

Refund of Chapter 30 Contributions (Excludes $600 Buy-Up)

A proportional amount (based on the number of months remaining under Chapter 30 at time of Chapter 33 election) of the basic $1200 contribution will be included in the last monthly stipend payment when Chapter 33 entitlement exhausts. Individuals who do not exhaust entitlement under Chapter 33 will not receive a refund of contributions paid under Chapter 30.

Other Benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill

These benefits are authorized with no resulting charge to entitlement. Tutorial assistance may be paid up to $100 per month, not to exceed a total of $1200. Effective August 1, 2011 reimbursement may be made for more than one licensing and certification test and allows payment for the fees for national exams used for admission to an institution of higher learning such as SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSTAT, etc.

  • Work-study is authorized for individuals training at ¾ time or higher.

Approved Programs

Individuals may receive educational assistance for any program of education that is approved under Chapter 30 and offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL – college or university). Individuals who were previously eligible for Chapter 30, 1606, or 1607 may continue to receive educational assistance for Chapter 30 approved programs not offered by IHLs (i.e. flight schools, non-degree vocational technical schools, correspondence schools, APP/OJT programs, preparatory courses, and national tests).  Effective October 1, 2011 training at NCD schools, vocational flight schools, correspondence schools, and for apprenticeship and other on-the-job-training is authorized. Also authorized is reimbursement for fees paid to take national exams used for admission to IHL’s such as SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, etc., and for more than one license and certification.

Chapter 33 Elections

An individual who has met the requirements to establish eligibility under Chapter 33 and, as of August 1, 2009 is:

  • Eligible for either Chapter 30, 1606, or 1607; or
  • A member of the Armed Forces and making the basic $1200 contribution toward Chapter 30; or
  • A member of the Armed Forces who previously declined to elect Chapter 30…must make an irrevocable election to use benefits under Chapter 33. The individual will no longer be eligible under the chapter he or she elected to “trade in” in order to receive Chapter 33. Any contributions being made under Chapter 30 will cease the month following the election.

Note: Individuals electing Chapter 33 may use benefits under the revoked chapter if the type of educational assistance [flight, correspondence, APP/OJT, preparatory courses, and national tests] the individual wishes to pursue is not available under Chapter 33. Entitlement used under the revoked chapter will be deducted from Chapter 33.

Transfer of Entitlement (ToE) Under Chapter 33

The Department of Defense (DoD) is authorized to allow individuals who, on or after August 1, 2009, have served at least 6 years in the Armed Forces and who agree to serve at least another 4 years in the Armed Forces, to transfer unused entitlement to their dependents (spouse, children). The Department of Defense, may, by regulation, impose additional eligibility requirements and limit the number of months transferable to not less than 18 months. 

Only active duty members and eligible drilling reservists may initiate a transfer. Once the person is no longer on active duty/drilling reservist, they may no longer make a transfer. There is no waiver of this rule. Veterans may revoke a transfer or change the amount of transfers to individuals, but no longer have the authority to designate a new transferee.

Advice to veterans considering changing over to Chapter 33

Entitlement and Revoking a Benefit

  • If your only other benefit is Chapter 30 and you elect Chapter 33 – your entitlement will be 36 months, minus whatever was used under Chapter 30. If your Chapter 30 entitlement was exhausted before you elect Chapter 33, then you are limited to no more than 48 including what you used under Chapter 30.
  • If you are eligible for Chapter 1606 and or Chapter 1607 and you elect Chapter 33 – your entitlement will be 36 months, but is limited to no more than a total of 48 months if you used benefits under 1606 or 1607.
  • If you are eligible for Chapter 30 and either 1606 or 1607 – you should revoke 1606 or 1607 – then your entitlement will be 36 months but no more than a total of 48 months including what you have already used under 1606 or 1607.

IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CHAPTER 30 AND 1606 OR 1607 – DO NOT REVOKE CHAPTER 30
(You can revoke Chapter 1606 or Chapter 1607 if you are eligible, even if you never applied)
BE SURE TO COMPARE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WILL RECEIVE UNDER BOTH BENEFITS. 

  • If you are eligible for Chapter 30 with at least 36 months of service, and then you were called up to active duty after that time and did not serve another 36 months – don’t relinquish Chapter 30. Compare monthly rates. You should probably relinquish 1606 or 1607.
  • Make sure all “call up” service is after 9/10/2001

Questions? Just contact the EFSC Veterans Educational Benefits Office and we’ll help.