Kate Is Clueless: Post 9/11 GI Bill

This week, I had the honor of presenting to delegates at the 2013 AWAG conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.  One of my classes was on the Post 9/11 GI Bill. There were many great questions, and also many “If xxx, and yyy, and my birthday is on a Thursday” type questions.

One thing that is hard for me is that I have no actual experience using the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  I get all my information from you, my readers.  Some of the questions were things that I can’t answer because I haven’t been there!  I’m going to list the questions here, in hopes that you can share your experiences.

Other Funding

What happens if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and you also receive another scholarship, grant or award?  Does the amount of your GI Bill tuition payment go down?  In my mind, that means that the other award isn’t really worth anything to you.  Can you tell me how this has worked for you?

Payment Timelines

How long is it taking for payments to be made, including tuition payments to the school and MHA payments to the student?  What does the school do about your balance while they are waiting to receive their payment from the VA?  Are there any tips or tricks to making things run more smoothly?

Montgomery vs. Post 9/11

A surprising number of people in my class were also eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, and were hoping for advice on how to maximize their benefits.  My husband was never eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, and the Post 9/11 GI Bill started shortly after I started writing for the Paycheck Chronicles.  As a result, I’ve not learned all the ins and outs of the Montgomery GI Bill, and I certainly don’t know enough about the relationship between the two.  I am absolutely positive that some of you are wwaayy smarter than me on this subject.  Please share!

Wounded Warriors and Transferrability

If a servicemember is medically retired or discharged due to an injury, how does that affect their ability to transfer their Post 9/11 benefits?  Obviously, they can’t fulfill the four year obligation incurred when benefits are transferred.  I’m sure there must be some sort of waiver for that.  But what other details have I missed?

It is always interesting when talking to a group about a topic.  Even when I  think I know everything that there is to know, I always discover little nuances that I hadn’t previously considered.  In this case, we rapidly moved into territory for which I was not prepared, like the wounded warrior questions and the Montgomery GI Bill questions.

I plan to do quite a bit of research on this, but I would also love to hear your real-life experiences.  You’ll be helping out a lot of people if you will share with me.  Thanks!


About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Judy

    My husband has been in for 27 years. He has the Post 911 benefits for education. They are transferable, here lies the problem. When we married, I had a teen son from previous marriage. we had been married for nine years when my son and daughter in law got into drug trouble with 2 very small children. To make long story short we were given custody by court until parents could clean up their act. They never did. We raised them, they are listed in DEERS, and have claimed them on taxes for last 18 yrs. Problem is now they want to go to college and husband was going to transfer some to grandson, but DOD says they must be adopted. According to what I have read on the education site, one only needs to be enrolled in DEERS to be eligible to receive these benefits. Classes will be starting the end of this month and we can’t find out why they are not transferring them over. We have sent a request for help in this matter to the state of Texas Rep. in our region. She has sent a letter to DOD to open an investigation to see what the problem is and how to solve it. If you know of any help out there that I may contact PLEASE! let me know, We all would sure appreciate it!
    Thanks, Worried Grandparents/PARENTS

    • guest

      I can’t really help on the matter but I just wanted to give you a pat on the back for being wonderful people. Raising your grandchildren (and to your husband even more props because they are his step grandchildren) is beyond admirable. Instead of an uncertain life you gave these kids a shot at college and a future!

  • Mike

    Hi Kate. As I read more and more on the post 9/11 GI Bill, I find so many retired military are in the same boat I am. I retired in Sep 2009 and was totally unaware I had to start the TEB process while on AD. I failed to start the transfer of education benefits back then, my kids were only 12, now they are 18 and starting college and I am unable to transfer my benefits.

    Is there anyone you know of who has had sucess in getting past this rule or any groups/forums with good ideas on how to even start?

    • Louanddeana

      Hi Mike,
      My husband is 46 and retired also. We are right next to you in the boat. He retired around the same time and he was NEVER told he had to transfer benefits before he got out. He already has a masters degree, so there is no way he would’ve passed that up with three kids just a few years away from college. We r presently in an appeal process with the VA. You must fill out a form for correction of military record. We were “unofficially” denied, but we are submitting additional information to support our case. From what I hear, the outcome is not promising, but we are not giving up. It is ludicrous to believe that a service member would not transfer benefits if he was told to. The problem is this information was never given to my husband. The program was very new and there was a lack of information and also misinformation being disseminated at the time. We have read that many are appealing this and when denied, contacting their state senators/congressmen for assistance.