Here are some questions I have answered through my personal experience using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The GI Bill housing allowance is often (incorrectly) referred to as Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). The official name is Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). It is actually a separate benefit that is tied to a certain level of BAH. Many people (including myself) have been incorrectly referring to the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance as BAH.
Please note that I did not receive BAH while I was on Active Duty in the Marine Corps. I can only speak for my experiences while using the Post 9/11 GI Bill as a veteran attending college.
How much is the GI Bill Housing Allowance?
The answer is that it depends where you are going to school. The GI Bill MHA varies depending on the cost of living in the area. The monthly amount you receive is based off the zip code of the school you are attending. It is not based off the zip code of your residence. All military veterans receive MHA based on that of an E-5 WITH DEPENDENTS who is receiving BAH, regardless of your rank when you were discharged.
Check out the military BAH calculator to find out how much the MHA is in your schools area. Remember to use the official zip code of your school and not the zip code of your residence. You will search for the most recent year listed and set the Pay Grade to E-5. When the results appear, you want to look at the numbers of E-5 WITH DEPENDENTS, regardless if you have dependents or not.
You may also be interested in reading: Is it Possible to Live Off the GI Bill?
When is the GI Bill Housing Allowance Paid?
When will I get my MHA? This was one of my biggest questions. The GI Bill housing allowance is paid monthly at the beginning of the month AFTER you have completed that month of school. So far with me, they have been very good at getting the money to me on time. You should get the money on the first of the month. If the first falls on a weekend or a holiday, then you should get the payment before that weekend or holiday. Each MHA payment you receive is for the prior month’s schooling.
How Will I Receive my GI Bill Housing Allowance?
The GI Bill Housing Allowance is direct deposited to my checking account. I don’t ever have to cash a check. I’m not sure what other options are available. Please post a comment if you are using a different method.
How do I Verify the Exact Payment Amount I’m Getting for MHA Every Month?
You will need to sign up for an E-Benefits account if you haven’t already. Once you’re logged in, hover over “View My Status” then click on “VA Payment History”. This usually updates around the 25th of each month. So you can check the exact amount they are sending you a little ahead of time. This is also where you can track your entire payment history. Unfortunately, the names of the payments are not very descriptive. So you may receive random payments sometimes out of the blue and even checking this page will not tell you WHY you got the random payment or WHAT it was for. For example, sometimes I’ll have like $32.94 deposited into my account a couple days before I get my Monthly Housing Allowance.
Where to Set/Change Direct Deposit Information for GI Bill Benefits
Your direct deposit information can be changed at the WAVE website.
If you have some additional information that I have not included, or if you have a different way of doing something then we’d all like to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below. Any questions are also welcome.