Most people that have served in the military are still in the dark about the GI bill and what it means to them. Most people understand that once you separate from the service, you have between ten and fifteen years to use all your GI Bill benefits. However, there are other related terms and conditions which veterans do not understand. Sometimes, these terms and conditions keep people from accessing what is rightfully theirs. Below are a few facts about the GI Bill, and what it means to you as a veteran.
What Happens if You Rejoin Service Before the 15 Years?
While it is true that there is a 15-year time limitation within which you can use benefits accrued from the GI Bill, the clock resets when you rejoin service. If for instance, you go back into service 90 days before the 15-year period of enjoying your benefits expires, the clock resets, and you get another 15 years to enjoy the benefits. In simple terms, you have 15 years from the date of your last discharge to use the benefits, or they all return to Uncle Sam.
Is the GI Bill Federal Financial Aid?
Most people think that the GI Bill should be classified as financial aid just like student loans. However, the GI Bill money is paid directly to you, and not to an institution. The fact that the money is paid directly to you also means that if you are already enjoying the GI Bill, you are still eligible to get financial aid such as college loans. It is important to note that being a recipient of this money may lower the amount you are eligible to get as student loans.
Does the GI Bill Money Include Housing Allowance?
The GI Bill money does include housing allowances. The bill was set up in an attempt to guarantee access to housing for students. The amount allocated to an individual depends on the zip code of the college they are attending. It is important to understand that the GI Bill housing allowance is paid after the fact, meaning that, if you start school on the first of January, your first GI payment will be on the first of February.
There are many things that the bill has done to try and improve the lives of veterans who go back into the school system. However, the attempts by Congress to tax these payments and the fact that people do not understand why they get partial payments makes the entire arrangement quite challenging to follow.
Author Harper Harmon is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on business, health and other various topics. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from UCLA and currently resides in Santa Cruz with her dog, Sassy.