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Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you’ve served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). Find out if you can get this education benefit.

Am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits?

You may be eligible for education benefits if you meet at least one of these requirements.

At least one of these must be true:

  • You served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • You received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • You served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
  • You’re a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying Veteran or service member

Note: If you’re a member of the Reserves who lost education benefits when the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) ended in November 2015, you may qualify to receive restored benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

What if I qualify for other VA education benefits too?

You can use only one education benefit for a period of service. You’ll have to choose which education benefit you’d like to use. 

Compare VA education benefits

Once you choose an education benefit, you can’t change your mind and use a different education benefit.


  • If you choose to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) instead of the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD or Chapter 30), you can’t switch at some later date to use MGIB-AD. If you decide to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill, we’ll refund you part or all of the payments you made into MGIB-AD.
    Learn more about Montgomery GI Bill refunds
  • If you’re a member of the National Guard or Reserve using the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR or Chapter 1606) and you decide to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you can’t switch at some later date to use a different VA education benefit.

Note: If you don’t choose which benefit you want to use, we’ll contact you and ask you to decide. If you don’t respond, we’ll choose for you.

You can also get help deciding which education benefits to use by calling us at 888-442-4551 (TTY: 711). We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

How many total months of VA education benefits can I get?

You may be able to get a maximum of 48 months of VA education benefits—not including Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefits. But many applicants are eligible for only 36 months.

What benefits can I get through the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)?

  • Tuition and fees. If you qualify for the maximum benefit, we’ll cover the full cost of public, in-state tuition and fees. We cap the rates for private and foreign schools, and update those rates each year.
    Check the current payment rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill
    Find out if you can get in-state tuition rates as an out-of-state student
  • Money for housing (if you’re in school more than half time). We’ll base your monthly housing allowance on the cost of living where your school is located.
  • Money for books and supplies. You can receive up to the maximum stipend per school year.
  • Money to help you move from a rural area to go to school. You may qualify for a one-time payment if you live in a county with 6 or fewer people per square mile and you’re either moving at least 500 miles to go to school or have no other option but to fly by plane to get to your school.

Find out how we determine your percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits

Find out how we determine your Post-9/11 GI Bill coverage

Do these benefits expire?

This depends on when you were discharged from active duty.

If your service ended before January 1, 2013, your Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits will expire 15 years after your last separation date from active service. You must use all of your benefits by that time or you’ll lose whatever’s left.

If your service ended on or after January 1, 2013, your benefits won’t expire thanks to a law called the Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act. 

Learn more about this law

How do I get these benefits?

You’ll need to apply.

Apply for education benefits

The benefit amount depends on which school you go to, how much active-duty service you’ve had since September 10, 2001, and how many credits or training hours you’re taking.

Note: If you use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you’ll need to verify your enrollment every month to keep getting a monthly housing allowance or kicker payments.

Learn how to verify your enrollment for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits

How do I know how much of my Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are left?

If you already applied for and were awarded Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, your GI Bill Statement of Benefits will show you how much of your benefits you’ve used and how much you have left to use.

Check your GI Bill Statement of Benefits

Can my family members or I get any additional benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)?

You may qualify for these additional benefits:

How can I use my Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits?

You can use your GI Bill benefits in many ways to advance your education and training.

Work toward a degree with these benefits:

Train for a specific career, trade, or industry with these benefits:

Work while you study with these benefits:

Take classes from home with these benefits:

Note: If your school changed to online classes because of COVID-19, we continued paying GI Bill benefits from March 1, 2020, to June 1, 2022. This ended on June 2, 2022. If your school doesn’t offer approved online classes, you’ll need to return to in-person classes to continue receiving GI Bill benefits.

How does VA determine my monthly housing allowance (MHA)?

Your MHA is based on the monthly military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. We start with that amount, then we take into account these additional factors to calculate your MHA:

  • The percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits you’re eligible for (your eligibility tier). We’ll pay you a percentage of MHA based on how long you served on active duty and certain other factors.
    Find out how we determine your percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits
  • How much you’re attending school. We’ll pay you a percentage of MHA based on how many credits you’re taking per term or how many clock hours you’re scheduled to attend per week, compared to full-time enrollment. We call this your rate of pursuit. For example, if you’re taking 9 credits in a standard-length term and your school considers 12 credits to be full time, your rate of pursuit is 80% (9 divided by 12, rounded to the nearest tenth). To be eligible for MHA, your rate of pursuit must be more than 50%.
  • If you’re taking only online classes (also called distance learning). We’ll pay a housing allowance based on 50% of the national average.
  • The campus location where you physically attend most of your classes. We call this a “location-based housing allowance.”

Note: Active duty service members and their spouses aren't eligible for MHA.

Campus definitions for location-based housing allowance

We use these campus definitions to help determine your location-based housing allowance:

Main campus. The primary teaching location of the school. 

Branch campus. A school location that’s in a different zip code from the main campus. It has its own budget, administration, and resources. It also offers its own degree and certificate programs. 

Extension campus. A campus of a school that may or may not be in the same zip code as the main or branch campus. It has the same budget, administration, and resources as the main campus or branch campus. It doesn’t offer its own degree or certificate programs.

Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to calculate your MHA payment

Will I get monthly housing allowance (MHA) during school breaks?

No. In 2011, Congress passed a law that prohibits VA from paying MHA during school breaks. This includes breaks between semesters, quarters, and terms. Be sure to plan ahead to cover your housing costs when school isn’t in session.

If your enrollment starts after the first of the month or ends before the last day of the month, we’ll pay you a prorated housing payment for the part of the month you’re enrolled in classes.

Note: If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, we may be able to help. Call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838 for help 24/7. You’ll talk privately with a trained VA counselor for free.

How can I get more information?

You can get more information about the GI Bill from these guides:

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