What Is the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a U.S. law that provides benefits to military veterans who have taken part in active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. To be eligible for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, an applicant must have served for at least 90 days and still be on active duty or been honorably discharged or discharged for a disability related to serving. The bill was passed into law in 2008.

Key Takeaways

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill is part of a larger effort by the federal government to provide benefits to veterans returning from duty.
  • Benefits include up to 100% tuition and fee coverage for education, a monthly housing allowance for school, and a one-time relocation allowance.
  • Service members may be eligible if they served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability after serving 30 continuous days following Sept. 10, 2001.

Understanding the Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, along with the original G.I. Bill (1944) and Montgomery G.I. Bill (1984), represents a continued effort by the federal government to provide benefits to veterans returning from duty. The original G.I. Bill was created in response to the failure of the U.S. government to provide benefits to veterans of WWI, the lack of which resulted in protests during the Great Depression.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Eligibility

Service members may be eligible if they served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability after serving 30 continuous days following Sept. 10, 2001.

Children of a member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, may be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits under the Marine Gunnery John David Fry Scholarship Program.

According to the Veteran Affairs website, "If your service ended before January 1, 2013, your Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits will expire 15 years after your last separation date from active service. You must use all of your benefits by that time or you’ll lose whatever’s left. If your service ended on or after January 1, 2013, your benefits won’t expire thanks to a new law called the Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act. Some letters you receive from us may not yet reflect this change."

Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides funding for training, as well as tuition assistance to veterans. The Bill provides up to three years of benefits and can be used by a veteran up to 15 years after qualifying. An update to the Bill, The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, expanded eligibility to members of the National Guard and Active Guard and Reserve.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has several facets including:

  • Up to 100% tuition and fee coverage (up to the national average of $25,162.14 as of the 2020 academic school year)
  • A monthly housing allowance (based on where the school is located)
  • Up to $1000 a year for books and supplies
  • A one-time relocation allowance
  • The option to transfer benefits to family members
  • The Yellow Ribbon Program (Partial support to attend private or out-of-state universities)

If you are a qualified Servicemember, you can transfer all 36 months or a portion of your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or child. The Department of Defense must approve a transfer of benefits.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefit Tiers

All Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service each veteran has since Sept. 10, 2001. The following percentage of benefits apply based on Post-9/11 active-duty service:

  • 100%—Requires at least 36 cumulative months (Includes Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 100%—Requires at least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to service-connected disability (Includes Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 90%—Requires at least 30 cumulative months (Includes Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 80%—Requires at least 24 cumulative months (Includes include Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 70%—Requires at least 18 cumulative months (Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 60%—Requires at least 12 cumulative months (Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 50%—Requires at least 6 cumulative months (Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)
  • 40%—Requires 90 aggregate days (Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)