Overall, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates will increase an average of 3.8 percent in 2013. While active duty members saw their increases on January 1, veterans and family members using Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits won’t see their housing allowance increase until the start of the new 2013/2014 academic year – August 1.
Like the active duty BAH, the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing stipend is rate protected, meaning in areas where rates went down, the decrease will apply only to newly enrolled students or those who change their enrollment. However, students will receive an increase if the BAH rate for their school’s ZIP code went up. This protection ensures veterans and their eligible dependents are not penalized for a decrease in area housing costs.
BAH rates are calculated based on three components:
– area median current market rental rates;
– average utilities, including electricity, heat, and water/sewer;
– average renter’s insurance rates.
To see if your Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance will change or not, go to the BAH calculator. Just enter your school’s zip code and click on the E-5 pay grade from the drop-down box. Use the “with dependents” rate whether you have dependents or not.
The figure you see is based on full-time student status. If your rate of pursuit is less than what your school considers full-time, then you will have to take the “with dependents”amount, divide it by the number of credits your school considers full-time and multiply by the number of credits you are taking.
Of course, if you are a full-time student taking all your classes online, then your monthly housing allowance is currently fixed at $684. However, by taking just one on-campus class that applies to your degree plan per semester, you can get the full amount – generally about twice the online-only rate.