This week, I had the honor of presenting to delegates at the 2013 AWAG conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. One of my classes was on the Post 9/11 GI Bill. There were many great questions, and also many "If xxx, and yyy, and my birthday is on a Thursday" type questions.
One thing that is hard for me is that I have no actual experience using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I get all my information from you, my readers. Some of the questions were things that I can't answer because I haven't been there! I'm going to list the questions here, in hopes that you can share your experiences.
Other FundingWhat happens if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and you also receive another scholarship, grant or award? Does the amount of your GI Bill tuition payment go down? In my mind, that means that the other award isn't really worth anything to you. Can you tell me how this has worked for you?
Payment TimelinesHow long is it taking for payments to be made, including tuition payments to the school and MHA payments to the student? What does the school do about your balance while they are waiting to receive their payment from the VA? Are there any tips or tricks to making things run more smoothly?
Montgomery vs. Post 9/11A surprising number of people in my class were also eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, and were hoping for advice on how to maximize their benefits. My husband was never eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, and the Post 9/11 GI Bill started shortly after I started writing for the Paycheck Chronicles. As a result, I've not learned all the ins and outs of the Montgomery GI Bill, and I certainly don't know enough about the relationship between the two. I am absolutely positive that some of you are wwaayy smarter than me on this subject. Please share!
Wounded Warriors and TransferrabilityIf a servicemember is medically retired or discharged due to an injury, how does that affect their ability to transfer their Post 9/11 benefits? Obviously, they can't fulfill the four year obligation incurred when benefits are transferred. I'm sure there must be some sort of waiver for that. But what other details have I missed?
It is always interesting when talking to a group about a topic. Even when I think I know everything that there is to know, I always discover little nuances that I hadn't previously considered. In this case, we rapidly moved into territory for which I was not prepared, like the wounded warrior questions and the Montgomery GI Bill questions.
I plan to do quite a bit of research on this, but I would also love to hear your real-life experiences. You'll be helping out a lot of people if you will share with me. Thanks!