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On April 14, 2022, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Education Service (EDU) leadership hosted its first ever GI Bill® Summit, connecting virtually with GI Bill students and the Veteran community to provide updates on Digital GI Bill modernization efforts and answer GI Bill questions submitted on RallyPoint.

The GI Bill Summit was hosted on VA’s Post-9/11 GI Bill Facebook page and featured:

» Opening remarks from EDU Acting Executive Director Mary Glenn
» Question and Answer session with EDU leadership
» Facebook Live chat interaction, answering education benefits questions on the spot
» Showcases of various VA education programs including VRRAP and VET TEC
» Spotlights of Veterans Claims Examiners and a School Certifying Official

In case you missed it, you can watch the recording of the 2022 GI Bill Summit here:
In addition, VA’s Digital GI Bill team hosted a usability testing session with over 600 School Certifying Officials to test out new functionalities being developed to support the Digital GI Bill modernization effort. These new features are focused on making a better experience for Veterans, Service members, their families, and the school administrators and VA staff who support them.

Over the past few weeks, VA answered more than 250 education benefits questions submitted to the 2022 GI Bill Summit: RallyPoint Q&A. Topics included monthly enrollment verification requirements, Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA), transfer of entitlement, expiring COVID-19 protections of benefits, and more.

On behalf of the VA EDU leadership, we thank you for your engagement and participation in the GI Bill Summit. Your questions and feedback are invaluable as we work to improve your education benefits experience, and we look forward to continuing these types of conversations with you in the future.

If you have any additional questions, please utilize the GI Bill hotline at 888-GIBILL- [login to see] ) between 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday. For students outside the U.S., call 00 [login to see] . You can also ask us a question via Ask VA (https://ask.va.gov) or reach out to us through our Post- 9/11 GI Bill Facebook page (https://rly.pt/346jg4T).
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Responses: 172
CPO Keith Blandin
Why do online students only get 50% BAH when we are doing school all the same as those attending brick and mortar schools. Living in a very rural area, online college is my only option for education. What is the reasoning for this and are there plans to give full BAH to online students?
SSgt Geospatial Intelligence
SSgt (Join to see)
11 mo
CPO (Join to see) Great question CPO S. I believe we should receive the rate of our primary residence where we live and pay bills for both in-person and online. I would say the vast majority only have one residence and there are very few who would try and make more money by having another residence in a high cost of living area. Many great universities are nowhere near military installations and many low quality institutions are. Active duty are out of luck because they already receive BAH. But for our reservists and veterans, we often cannot pick up and move to the location where our current/future schools are located. Not in this economy and job environment. We should all be entitled to the same benefits and not risk poverty while trying to manage education and full time jobs.
CPO Yeoman
CPO (Join to see)
11 mo
SSgt (Join to see) I think those are valid points I can agree with most. However, the only way to execute that plan would require the regulations that govern the Post 911 to change as a whole and creating circumstances that would still not appeal to all Veterans especially those that do live high cost areas. What you said on the institutions that surround bases is a very good point and I have compared that to used car dealerships that also seem to pray on service members. Like with most things especially in the VA community when you want to change a policy to appeal to one group you are still leaving out others you cannot make everyone happy. There are programs though that allow for flex programs where Zooming classes count toward being residential.
SSgt Geospatial Intelligence
SSgt (Join to see)
11 mo
MSG Alan Purdie thanks for keeping people in the loop MSG Purdie, I’ve been seeing your comments about how the DOD and congress settle our MHA/BAH rates for our benefits, not the VA, and that’s something everyone should know. I think this is something that could be changed in time if enough of us write to congress about it or express our concerns through appropriate VA channels. Doing full time school for <$900 a month is simply not feasible or fair, and is a result of oversight from congress. There is a need for change, so let’s try to do it!
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
7 mo
Thank you for your question and feedback. Per current legislation, Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) rates run equivalent to an active duty E-5's Basic Housing Allowance rate with dependents, which is determined annually by the Department of Defense to account for things like inflation and cost of living. VA then adjusts the MHA on August 1st of every year to match. Our rates are dependent on the Department of Defense's housing rates. We appreciate your feedback and continue to work with Congress and our GI Bill partners to improve the GI Bill experience for Veterans and their families.
PO2 Thaddeus Clay
Pegging the MHA rate to the national average for online education programs places unnecessary limitations on Veteran mobility. Using the average, despite the dynamics surrounding urbanization, competitive job markets, and cost of living is a fundamentally and statistically flawed approach. This should be part of today’s larger discussion given the accelerated adoption of online programs from respectable/prestigious institutions.

What is the VA doing, if anything, to address this issue? In my opinion, a more targeted rate might be where a Veteran is signed up for benefits in addition to proof of residency. Let’s be honest, $900 dollars in a Tier 1/Tier 2 city - where the actual job markets are located - might not even get you a room.
CPT Sadina Rogers
CPT Sadina Rogers
11 mo
I have the exact question. Just b/c we are doing online classes, it does not cost less to have house payments, bills and expenses that still cost the same as being in person. This is a huge issue for those of us that live in big cities, attend school full time and cannot work. Living off of 900 dollars is below the poverty level. This part of the GI Bill needs to be re-addressed and amended to pay all students attending full time school full time BAH stipend.
SSgt Geospatial Intelligence
SSgt (Join to see)
11 mo
The fact that this MHA flat rate has hardly changed despite soaring housing costs and inflation over the years is absolutely mind boggling. It assumes that full time online school isn’t as rigorous or credible as in-person degree plans and requires service members to also work full time jobs when they should be focusing on their education.
MSG Alan Purdie
MSG Alan Purdie
11 mo
SSgt (Join to see) - Congress not VA wrote the law - DoD sets the BAH rates - not VA. VA pays the MHA based on the BAH rate for online only classes based on 1/2 of the national average BAH paid to an E5 with dependents. From 2009 to 1 August 2011, per the law no one doing online only classes was paid any MHA - an amendment to the original law in 2010 allowed VA to start paying MHA to online only students with an effective date of 1 August 2011.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
7 mo
Thank you for your question and feedback. Per current legislation, Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) rates run equivalent to an active duty E-5's Basic Housing Allowance rate with dependents, which is determined annually by the Department of Defense to account for things like inflation and cost of living. VA then adjusts the MHA on August 1st of every year to match. Our rates are dependent on the Department of Defense's housing rates. We appreciate your feedback and continue to work with Congress and our GI Bill partners to improve the GI Bill experience for Veterans and their families. Check out VBA EDU leadership discussing this topic at the 2022 GI Bill Summit: https://youtu.be/0E5tw0zd4DY?t=1149
TSgt Paul Pascoe
Why can't veterans transfer Post 911 GI benefits to dependents that were not given any during active duty?
SrA Janice Heebsh
SrA Janice Heebsh
11 mo
I have a similar question; Why can't veterans who have earned their Post 9-11 GI-Bill transfer it at all? If we've served our time and earned our benefit, shouldn't we get to decide how its utilized? My husband and I are both veterans. We have our own GI-Bills, but we didn't have children while in the Air Force. I've used my benefits to get my BA, but my husband already had a degree when he went into the service. Under the current rules, we can't transfer his bill to our hypothetical kid, because he would have had to name that child while in uniform, and then serve additional time, but we didn't start for children until after we'd both been discharged. Also, my career path requires a Masters, and my husband has no interest in going back to school when his career path is stable and settled. He wishes he could just transfer it to me, but under the current regs, that's not possible.
These regs on the transfer of GI-Bill benefits don't consider family planning and fluctuating life circumstances. How is the VA going to address this issue- if at all?
PO1 Buffy Reed
PO1 Buffy Reed
11 mo
YES! Please allow an after-active duty transfer of Post 9-11 GI-Bill Benefits! Circumstances change.
Also, they made some years available for the Forever 9-11 Bill but my benefits expire this year. It would be nice if all Post 9-11 Beneficiaries could receive Forever benefits!
SFC William Norris
SFC William Norris
11 mo
Agree with PO2 Clay,
Doing courses online is way more cumbersome than classroom. Where is the inspiration for asynchronous learning. We are limited to choices of degree programs if you do not want to learn online. Education is about learning. Not sitting in your office on a computer all day writing papers. Classes on the ground for IT, Business Administration, Leadership all on-line are in abundance. But know everyone is in to that. So, you ending taking something your interested in, but it is asynchronous learning. Where is the inspiration for that? Sitting on a computer all day, writing papers is not the answer to learning. Where is the teacher to inspire? Where are the classmates to ask questions and get answers with. To make matters worse, Universities are changing the same rate for these degree programs. The Veteran should be getting paid full VHA regardless. It is not our fault that the school does not teach the degree program you want to achieve. It should be our choice what we want to learn. We have EARNED the benefit to get educated and VHA.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
7 mo
Thank you for your feedback. To provide some background, the Post-9/11 GI Bill was originally created in part as a tool to retain members in the military after 9/11. In 2009, the law was changed to allow Service members to transfer their benefits to dependents in exchange for four years of additional service. Under current legislation, a Service member must transfer one month’s worth of entitlement before separating or retiring in order for their child or spouse to be eligible to use their GI Bill benefits. We know this is an important topic and many people have asked similar questions. VA is listening to your feedback and we are consistently looking at legislation and working with Congress and other GI Bill® partners to provide a GI Bill process that works for you and your family. Visit https://www.va.gov/education/transfer-post-9-11-gi-bill-benefits/ to learn more. Check out VBA EDU leadership discussing this topic at the 2022 GI Bill Summit: https://youtu.be/0E5tw0zd4DY?t=528.

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