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How to Get Your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

How to get post 9/11 GI Bill

Post-9/11 GI Bill® Education Benefits: How To Guide

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides you with assistance for tuition and fees, gives a monthly housing allowance to those who qualify, and gives an annual books and supplies stipend.  Here we explain how to get your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. 

Make Sure You Qualify: Post-9/11 GI Bill Eligibility

You want to make sure you do qualify for these GI Bill benefits. In order to do so, you need to have at least one of these things be true:

  • Serve at least 90 days on active duty, either all at once or with breaks in service, on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service.
  • Served for at least 30 continuous days, all at once, without a break in service, on or after September 11, 2001, and be honorably discharged with a service-connected disability.

Children and spouses can also use these benefits if the service member or veteran has been able to transfer their benefits to them.

The amount of your benefit will depend on how much active service you have had since September 10, 2001. The amount is based on a % of the maximum benefit. You can view the GI Bill Comparison Tool to see what benefits you can qualify for.


Gather Your Documents and Information

You will need to gather all the documents and information that you will need. This includes

  • Social Security number
  • Bank account direct deposit information
  • Education and military history
  • Basic information about the school or training facility you want to attend or are already attending.

Apply for Your Benefits

There are a few different options for actually applying for your benefits. You can apply:

  • At the VA site
  • In person at your nearest VA regional office
  • At your school
  • Through the mail

If you would like to apply through the mail, you should call 1-888-GI-Bill-1 to ask for an application to be sent to you.

If you need extra help with your application, you can work with an accredited representative to help you fill out the paperwork.

Benefits take an average of 30 days to process and once you apply, you will not be able to make changes to your application. 

After You Apply

After your benefits have been processed and approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or award letter in the mail. You will need to then bring that to the VA certifying official at your school.



Find a GI Bill-approved school with our Program Matcher.





About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.