The information provided here is taken from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA's) web site, the statutes enacted by Congress, and the Code of Federal Regulations which implements congressional statutes.
You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days (i.e., they don't have to be consecutive) on active duty after 10 September 2001 and are still on active duty or were
honorably discharged from active duty, or
honorably released from active duty and placed on the retired list or temporary disability retired list, or
released from active duty and transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, or
released from the active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces.
You may also be eligible if you were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after 10 September 2001.
Your current status (retired or otherwise no longer in uniform) is irrelevant.
The maximum monthly amount payable under the new GI Bill varies depending on a number of factors:
whether you're pursuing a degree or non-degree program,
whether you're attending a publicly- or privately-funded institution,
the type of institution you're attending,
whether you're a full- or part-time student,
whether you're currently in uniform, a veteran, or a dependent,
how long you were on active duty, and
whether you're moving from certain highly rural areas to attend college.
The DVA calculates certain benefits under the new GI Bill based on whether you're considered a full-time student or a less-than-full-time student. "Full time" for these purposes is considered 24 undergraduate semester credits per school year.
There are three main benefits under the new GI Bill:
payment for tuition and fees,
a monthly housing allowance, and
a stipend for books and supplies.
Access to each of these three main benefits depends on one or more of the factors listed above.
In addition, there is also a one-time payment of $500 for certain individuals relocating from very rural areas.
In general, if you're eligible to receive benefits you'll receive the applicable maximum for each of the three main benefits based on
length of your active duty service shown in the following table and
what's called "rate of pursuit", the number of credits you’re taking divided by the number of credits your school considers to be full-time attendance, rounded to the nearest tenth. (If you're in a non-academic program, it's the number of hours you're in class per day divided by the number of hours per day your school considers to be full-time attendance.)
Aggregate period of active duty service after 10 september 2001
percentage of maximum benefit payable
At least 36 months
|At least 30 continuous days and discharged due to service-connected disability||100|
|At least 30 months < 36 months||90|
|At least 24 months < 30 months||80|
|At least 18 months < 24 months||70|
|At least 12 months < 18 months||60|
|At least 6 months < 12 months||50|
|At least 90 days < 6 months||40|
The percentages listed on the table above apply to each of the three main benefits described above the table.
It depends on a number of factors:
whether you're on active duty,
whether you're pursuing a degree,
whether you're attending school more than half-time or half-time or less,
whether you're attending an "institution of higher learning",
whether you're pursuing flight training, an apprenticeship, on-the-job training, or a correspondence program,
whether you're seeking reimbursement for a licensing or certification test,
whether you're seeking reimbursement for a "national test".
Click here for more details.
Before you can use your new GI Bill benefit, you must first apply for the benefit (also called activating it). Click here for more information on this process.
If you're a dependent, your sponsor must first have transferred the benefit to you, after which you fill out a slightly different form (whether PDF or on-line).
It can take the DVA six months to process activation requests, so plan ahead.