Fall 2008 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

From the Department of Veterans Affairs; photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA

Congratulations, those tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, the backfill at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Fort Dix is translating into a real benefit for you: access to the Post-9/ 11 GI Bill.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a new educational assistance benefit for individuals who served on active duty on or after Sept.11, 2001.

Volunteers helping Menlo residents

In order to be eligible you must have served an aggregate of 90 days of active duty service, or served at least 30 days of continuous active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001 and discharged due to a service-connected disability.

One benefit of the Bill is time: you are eligible for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. If you were released for a service-connected disability after at least 30 days of continuous service, you will also be eligible for benefits for 15 years.

One thing to keep in mind, because Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are payable for education or training pursued on or after Aug. 1, 2009, no payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date.

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill you may receive up to 36 months of entitlements. The amount you receive is a percentage (see table for exact percentages), as determined by your length of active duty service, of the following:

- Amount of tuition and fees charged, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education;

- A yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000;

- A one-time payment of $500 to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas and;

- Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing amount payable to an E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as the school paid to you. A note about this: The housing allowance is not payable for those pursuing training at half time or less or for individuals taking distance learning.

We all like examples and no ar-ticle would be complete without them. Let’s say that the full time tuition and fees at Boxley College (no such school exists in New Jersey) is $6,700 and that the highest in-state tuition and fees is $7,000.

Now say you served an aggregate period of three years on active duty and you are going to school full-time, in the above example you would be eligible for $6,700 for tuition fees (that’s 100 percent), the monthly housing allowance and $1,000 for books and supplies.

In another example, you have a total of 12 months of active duty service in the guard or reserves, and are going to school full-time, you would be eligible for $4,020 (60 percent of $6,700) for tuition and fees, $600 (60 percent of $1,000) for books and supplies allowance. One question that comes up is “If I am eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606,) or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607), am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill?”

You may elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill if, on Aug. 1, 2009, you have met the requirements to qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and you are eligible for Chapters 30, 1606, 1607, or are serving in the Armed Forces.

You may receive benefits for training programs approved for Chapter 30 that are offered by an institution of higher learning. This includes graduate and undergraduate training, and vocational/technical training. You may also receive benefits for tutorial assistance and reimbursement of one licensing and certification test.

Additionally, if you were eligible for Chapters 30, 1606 or 1607, and you elected to use benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you would be eligible to receive benefits for onthe- job training, apprenticeship training, correspondence courses, flight training, preparatory courses, and national exams.

To keep current on the Post-9/ 11 GI Bill, visit www.gibill.va.gov for up to date information on this and other education benefits.

Time in service Benefit %
36 months, or at least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to service-connected disability 100
30 months, but less than 36 months 90
24 months, but less than 30 months 80
18 months, but less than 24 months 70
12 months, but less than 18 months 60
6 months, but less than 12 months 50
90 days, but less than 6 months 40