For future and current Post 9/11 GI Bill applicants, the Army of Dude blog has answers to questions you might not find on the VA’s website. Dude’s answers come from his own experience with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, interaction with other applicants, and from interviews from friendlier representatives at the government agencies. As he puts it, “you roll the dice any time you interact with the VA system,” and these are the answers that he found when he wasn’t getting snake eyes.
- When am I getting paid? To get the answer, speak to your certifying official or call the VA directly. Dude adds to this with, “My certifying official provides the same level of care you would expect from a Tijuana back alley vasectomy; he couldn’t answer that question after the many calls, voice mails, emails, smoke signals and carrier pigeon messages I relayed to him. I figure I am not an isolated case and assume there must be more apathetic certifying officials out there.”
- How is the Chapter 33 Housing Allowance paid? It’s paid in arrears. This means that you do not receive your housing benefit until the month has passed. This seems backwards when you need to pay your rent before the month’s time, and the only way to handle this is to pay for the first month of rent out-of-pocket and let the housing allowance take care of the rest. Not the best situation in the world, but that’s how it [unfortunately] is.
- Will the Housing Allowance be year round? No. Only the months you attend school. This is why it is arrears; they won’t send it until a month of school has been completed.
- Will I get an additional book stipend if I take summer classes? No. The $1000 is a flat rate for the full year regardless of the semesters you participate in.
- Why is it taking so long? The process is done by-hand and can take up to two hours to determine the benefits of every single applicant. The electronic system that will remove this by-hand time is scheduled for launch December 2010. This means the following semesters, at the very least, should not have as many issues.
Here’s to hoping your Post 9/11 GI Bill experiences are going well!
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