Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits (Chapter 33)

The GI Bill for veterans and servicemembers is currently separated into the Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill and the Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you are eligible for both the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill, you must choose between them. You are unable to use both and you are unable to switch back and forth after you have selected your benefit. 

The Post-9/11 GI Bill makes available educational and housing benefits for active-duty veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. Payments are made direct to the school for tuition and fees; payments for housing, books and supplies, and any qualifying rural relocation allowances are paid direct to the student. 

Veterans Affairs awards this benefit in accordance with how much time was served on active duty plus certain other factors. The benefit is also time-based, meaning students receive funding for up to a maximum of 48 months once the benefit begins. However, most applicants receive around 36 months of benefits.

Review the information below for eligibility, applying for, and using this benefit. 


 

Requirements

To be eligible for any benefits from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, at least one of the following must be true:

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

Eligibility Tiers and Payment Rates

Determine your benefit eligibility below based on your total days served during active duty:

  • 1,095 days or more (36 months or more): 100% of the full benefit 
  • 910 to 1,094 days (30 to 35 months): 90% of the full benefit
  • 730 to 909 days (24 to 29 months): 80% of the full benefit
  • 545 to 729 days (18 to 23 months): 70% of the full benefit
  • 180 to 544 days (6 to 17 months): 60% of the full benefit
  • 90 to 179 days (90 days to 5 months): 50% of the full benefit

Visit the VA website to learn more information about current payment rates based on your eligibility tier. Any rate changes made by the government will become effective as of August 1 ahead of each academic year at Columbia.  

Expiration

Be advised, there may be an expiration date for your benefits based on your active-duty discharge date. 

If you are eligible for more than one education benefit for your period of service, you must choose a preferred benefit to use. For example, if you qualify for both Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill and Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty, you must choose one benefit to use. 

Use the VA GI Bill Comparison Tool to review how your benefit options stack up against Columbia University's costs. 

Once you make your choice, you cannot change your mind and use a different education benefit.

VR&E Exception

Please note that the Chapter 31 VR&E benefit is a separate program and may be used in addition to whichever GI Bill selection you make, or after you have used a GI Bill benefit, assuming appropriate eligibility is met. 

Students using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for the first time at Columbia University must Submit a Certificate of Eligibility, also known as their decision letter, which they can download from either of their VA accounts if the decision on their application for benefits was made after August 20, 2022.

  • Application decisions made before August 20, 2022 are not available online. Copies of these decisions can be requested online or by calling 1+ (888) 442-4551 (TTY: 711).

Students who expect to use additional eligible VA education benefits to pay for school need only submit a Certificate of Eligibility one time. Students must submit a new Certificate of Eligibility only if their benefits change.


Students must also complete one Veterans Request for Certification Form for each semester of attendance, regardless of number benefits programs utilized, in order to receive their benefits. 

If you use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to obtain housing funding while attending Columbia, you’ll need to verify your enrollment every month to keep getting a monthly housing allowance or any kicker payments.

Sign in to Login.gov or ID.me to verify. 

How to Apply

You can apply online for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You will be asked to sign in via Login.gov or ID.me. This will help to pre-fill some of the questions with your account information. 

The average VA processing time of applications is 30 days. Plan accordingly. 

If you have access to a printer, you can complete a fillable PDF of VA Form 22-1990 on the VA website. 

Alternatively, you can call 1+ (888) 442-4551 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, to request a paper application that will be mailed to you.

You must mail the completed form to the Buffalo, NY regional processing office at the following address:

P.O. Box 4616
Buffalo, NY
14240-4616

The average VA processing time of applications is 30 days. Plan accordingly. 

FAQ

Your monthly housing allowance is paid directly to you at the beginning of each month for the previous month. Possible explanations for varying check amounts include the following:

  • A partial payment month (at the start and end of the term)
  • Rate change between calendar years
  • Delay due to re-certification at the start of a term
  • Reduction in credits
  • Courses exclusively online
  • Nonstandard terms

Break or Interval Pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program.

Example: The fall semester ends December 22. Your housing allowance or MHA is paid for the first 22 days of December only. The spring semester begins January 16. MHA  payment for January (received in February) will start January 16 through the rest of January.

If you are concerned, first contact us at OVMA to ensure that your certification has been processed on our end. If it has, sign in online or call the VA at 1+ (888) 442-4551 to confirm that they’ve received your certification from Columbia. If they have not, contact us again and ask that we resubmit your certification to VA. 

If Veterans Affairs has received your certification, unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to expedite the processing and disbursement of your funds. At this point you must wait for the VA to send the payment.

Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits will display how much of your benefits you have used and how much you have left to use. If you are eligible and VA approves your benefits application, your statement should become available via Login.gov or ID.me approximately 30 days after applying.

    You will need to complete and submit to Veterans Affairs a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training, VA Form 22-1995

    In addition, you must submit both of the OVMA Forms outlined above in the Requirements section. Contact OVMA for assistance at the email address provided below.