Most Vets to See GI Bill Stipend Go Up

This week the Department of Defense announced the release of the 2013 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates, which go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. Overall rates will increase an average of 3.8 percent this year.  

Veterans and eligible family members using the Post-9/11 GI Bill will also see an average increase in their housing stipend, which is based on the BAH rate for an E-5 with dependents. However, unlike the active duty BAH payment, which will go into effect at the first of the year, the GI Bill housing stipend will not go into effect until the start of the 2013-2014 academic year on August 1, 2013.

Just like the active duty BAH, the GI Bill housing stipend is rate protected. In other words, in areas where rates will decrease, the decrease will only apply to newly enrolled students or those who change their enrollment. However, they will receive the increase if the rate for their geographic area goes up. This assures that veterans and their eligible dependents are not penalized if the area’s housing costs decrease.

According to the Defense Travel Management Office, there are three components are included in the BAH computation: median current market rent; average utilities (including electricity, heat, and  water/sewer) and average renter’s insurance.

Check out your 2013 GI Bill Housing stipend rate. Be sure to look up the rate for an E-5 with dependents.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • GI Bill user

    I think it should go into affect Jan 1st like the military. Why do we have to wait?

    • theo
      • Steven Burt

        The DoD’s fiscal year is October to October. The BAH rate changes, however, take effect on January 1.

    • Ty
  • Vtrn79

    I agree. We served our time, we shouldn’t be put on the back burner

  • patricia jackson

    I feel the same way. Why should the newlu enroll get the upper hand first and the rest of us have to wait?

    • Jaymie
    • tdhowell

      Newly enrolled students won’t get the 2013-2014 stipend until August 1, 2013 like everybody else.

  • SWK

    this makes absolutely NO sense! we must change this!!

  • Jeff Cohrs
  • Sherry
  • Carlos

    At least we are going to get it…better than nothing!

  • AEC Hardison

    How nice it must be to be geting out now,just take it and be thankful,I did 30 years and got very little aid for the GI BILL, but that was 40 years ago.

  • Sarah

    Y’all need to stop complaining and understand we’re lucky we even get anything after we get out. Be grateful seriously.

    • Rick

      Grateful? These benefits were earned! Please do not ever forget that, I am not complaining but he proud you served.

      • Sarah

        Um I am grateful I get it. We’re lucky they even gave us this option earned or not.

    • LJ
      • Sarah

        I don’t understand why its so hard to not complain when you can get school paid for and BAH every month you are in school.

  • Jeff Cohrs

    If all you ppl complaining are currently in COLLEGE…i’m scared…you have a serious reading comprehension problem…the new BAH rate goes into effect on Jan 1st for Active Duty…the GI Bill Housing Stipend is an entirely different entitlement (although the rate is equal to BAH)…For those of us currently in school = will receive the exact same stipend we have been this SCHOOL year…2013-14 school year (Aug 1st) the housing stipend will change to the new rates…and guess what?? those rates will be in effect until Aug 2014…for one year…If you are not in school now, but plan to go next year…those NEW rates will apply…the only real difference between Active Duty BAH and the GI Bill Housing Stipend is an 8 month lag for the latter…It doesn’t really make sense for them to change the housing stipend in the middle of the school year anyway.

    • Steven Burt

      The payment rates are based on the cost of living for a calendar year (January 1st – December 31st). Basing them off of the school year (August 1st – July 31st), like the Post 9/11 GI Bill does, causes the users of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to be inadequately compensated.
      Simply calling them different benefits with different start dates is mostly just a futile exercise in semantics.

      • Jeff Cohrs

        What about tuition?? The schools don’t adjust tuition for the SPRING term…they do it at the BEGINNING of the school year…the FALL term…starting in August.

    • Ace

      Apparently colleges are now teaching the misuse of ellipsis.

  • Kentuckychief

    Are you Serious? You are 100% disabled and receiving VA Comp… How about you stop clogging up the system with claims that even if are rated at 0% wont change your 100% you are already getting…. Your not GORDON GECKO and GREED IS NOT GOOD! I say the VA re-reviews your original claim and cuts back on your comp! Be careful for what you ask for Ralph

    • Earnest Hill
    • Seth. Lake
  • John

    Question, are you drawing 100% for disability or are you waiting for claims approval? If your all ready drawing 100% disability you won’t get any additional payment amount for the other 3 claims. If you die because of a presumed related cause from agent orange and you are married your wife will recieve about $1,100 dollars a month because of your death under the presumed rule. If your not drawing anything at this time then I would seek help from a Veterans Service Officer (VSO). There are over a million claims in The system now and Combat Vets suffering from severe PTSD are being processed Quicker than other Vietnam related problems. Hope this answers your post that I found short on your explaination of your current position. John, Vietnam combat vet

    • andy

      Pure nonsense. Even if you are rated 100% schedular (like I am) and you get more claims service-connected, you move up into the SMS categories. Like me for instance, I am waiting on a claim to be service connected and rated. If that claim gets rated at “just” 50% then I will move into SMC-S category which pays $330/mo more than 100%. Learn the regs, then use them to your advantage. After all, the politicians are using you to their advantage. Turn about is fair play ;-)

  • Alex

    The increase will take effect for students when the NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS. Why do you think this is unfair? Stop being so damn greedy and just be grateful you are getting what you are.

  • Marc
  • Maureen

    I have to agree with the others here as far as your already receiving the maximum amount. Are you trying to make some type of political or idealogical statement? Perhaps you need to fill your time with other interests or other entertainment or perhaps with helping some of the other newly arriving veterans that are coming home from two wars. You should stop clogging up the system unless there is some item you need or some type of medical care that you are being denied on account of paperwork.

  • Steven Burt

    The BAH increase is based on the cost of living for the calendar year. Why would we (users of the Post 9/11 GI Bill) be payed the current cost of living 8 months late?
    I believe the decision to postpone the rate change to August 1 disadvantages students using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The cost of living in Austin, TX is rising rapidly and rent prices don’t wait for the new school year in order to rise. By the time it is August 1, we will be getting paid the rates that were appropriate towards the beginning of the year, 8 months earlier. BAH, is calculated based on calendar year. Changing the effective date of its rates to August 1, 8 months after the calendar year begins, causes the users of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, mostly veterans, to not be adequately compensated.

    • Steven Burt

      What are you talking about, dude? Read my post carefully, please.

    • Debra B

      Maybe just get a job! This program was not intended to be your only source of income.

    • Cavalier Chief

      You’re expecting the government to be proactive? To look into the future? I don’t know who is more cynical, you or me. It is what it is, and most people who want to rid the government of lobbyists don’t understand how many lobbyists veteran’s programs need to keep us in the conversation.

  • Jeff Cohrs

    Why are so many vets eternally grumpy and looking for things to complain about?? Vets are NOT getting screwed in this deal…giving them an increase on Jan 1st 2013 would be the equivalent of giving the Active Duty members their 2013 BAH rate in MAY of 2012…there are TWO different entitlements…and TWO different calenders that they change on…….the “calender” year…and the “school” year…BAH rates are adjusted annually (calender year) and announced in December….Housing Stipend is adjusted on Aug 1st (school year)…Remember, the Housing Stipend is based on the CURRENT rate for BAH…SOOO, I have a gripe against the vets in college who are griping about the stipend…If you can’t even figure out what this tiny article is saying, I have no idea how you are able to keep up with college level classes.

    • Ricky Johnston

      I cant keep up with college level classes because I freak out in public because of service connected PTSD. And you Cohrs, may have no idea what a loss of life that is. I’d rather be dead. Maybe you ought not weigh in on weather or not vets are getting screwed because you have no idea what screwed is. I’m grateful to at least have the fantasy that I could someday return to school and get back into the workforce. I may be dead before I get the opportunity. I have a gripe with people who think that vets are not getting screwed, and have no idea what screwed is like.

  • F.A. Bfowers, FIC

    I am happy for those who will be getting the increase. I have to wonder why we DAV only got a 1% COLA. I guess our living standards are not expected to rise as much as theirs. SAD, SAD.
    Frank Bowers, FIC; 100% DAV; Class of 1937; Austin, TX

    • Jeff Cohrs

      Living standards are the same across the board…you are confusing the COLA rate with the BAH rate…The purpose of COLA is to assist with living expenses above and beyond the normal (covered under BAH) housing costs…COLA is calculated by a measurement of inflation…BAH is the actual housing entitlement adjusted like the current housing market…BAH increase is 3.8%…COLA increase is 1.7%…hope this helps

  • Lamont T. Nichols

    No! He’s right to complain, Platoon Sgt. Robert Smith retired in 1988 from active duty went on to retire from two other jobs and just pasted this year from Agent orange. It’s not fair . So to accomplish so much in life, and not get a chance to enjoy life. He didn’t complain ,but I will. SSG. Nichols,L.

  • Sarah

    He can get 100% disability and still add issues to his disabilities even at 100% so he can get covered for insurance due to the governments problems it has caused him.

  • Denton

    I do agree and like that they are increasing the amount. This will help out a lot for sure when it comes to bills.

  • Kenneth Ferdinand

    Hoo-Rah! I’m happy for any increase that’s thrown the Veterans way!

  • George w.

    I have been waiting on a claim for almost four years, I have talked to my congressman for the last two years and get the same message. Iam working on it. It is a shame that after you serve your country they put you on a waiting list hoping that you will just go away. And the people you help get elected once they are in office they don’t give a damm about your needs. GWG


    denies till you die is the V.A MANTRA sorry to say my case has been on appeals 3years


      I thought about what you’ve posted, and over the years seen other posts from other Veterans that have basically said the same thing. I myself don’t think there is any big time cover-up or conspiracy in the VA system to cover anything up. What I have seen, is thousands of us Veterans apply for disabilitity rating though the VA system and get mad because nothing has happened yet, or they were disaproved.

      I think too many of us think that if one of us has applied, that means they are deserving, when in fact we really have no idea what the facts are.

  • nancy

    My husband served in Vietnam and lost his leg in 1968 after having 3 tours in Nam. he has been suffering for years with vascular disease and has been hospitalized at least close to 18 times. he put in his first claim for his agent orange in January of this year, and passed away from ischemic heart disease in June of this year. I have put in for DIC. I did receive a note from the VA stating that they are processing the claim and this was only about 8 weeks ago, so from reading all your comments, I would imagine I am waiting for 2 years or more before I will even know if my husband’s claim for agent orange was accepted. That’s really scary. He was already rated 70% for the loss of his leg and for his PTSD, but was trying to get 100% disabled because he was having so many problems. He died the morning he was scheduled for amputation of his other leg because the edema had gotten so bad and they couldn’t save that good leg. It is interesting to read all your comments, but my husband just wanted what he thought he was entitled to. I hope that the VA awards me the DIC. We were married over 20 years. I am commenting as a guest.

    • Vincente

      Hi Nancy, sorry for your loss. My father was in the predicament as you and passed away also. My mom put the request in got a letter dad died June 15th got the letter about a month or two later, then started receiving her DIC benefits. I hope it works out for you quickly.

    • Teresa

      Nancy stand tall I look up to you

    • Subvet

      sorry for your loss! He could have tried for unemployability, quicker aproval or denigal. Hope you get DIC soon. What state benifits also? Hope VA rep in town gives you good advice. Also congressman are helpful.

  • brian

    the reason for such is that most new school years start around august and not jan
    this is an entiltiment that is an sperate allotment that is alloted from federal funds hey be lucky they are giving this remmber the US government is broke or at least it claims it to be how did they find the money hummmmmmm

    • Bob S

      They have no choice. The law says they have to survey the local rates and apply any increase. Period. It has nothing to do with finding money.

  • Debra

    This program is NOT intended to pay your bills and take care of your families. A job should be our primary source of income! Going to school f/t and staying at home is a luxury. When I was on AD I went to school full time and took care of my 2 girls. Now I’m retired and am very grateful for this program to help me complete my MBA. So let’s all be thankful that this program exist. We are not owed anything. We voluntarily served this country and should feel a sense of pride not a sense of “entitlement”!!!

    • Pete Mulroy

      Really — maybe if the used car salesmen recruiters like they have in the Marine Corps are not allowed to sign up a 18 or 19 year old and talk him into a fifth year enlistment for a measly extra $7, 500 “bonus” as an 0311 infantryman, then we could feel a sense of pride.
      After 5 years of nothing less than exempliary service and duty and trying to stay in the Marines as a reservist to support his family and country, a Lt. Colonel turned his back when he was asked for advise and assistance in at this combat Cpl. attempting to ido so.

      So, please, do not insult these fine men and women who are entitled to at lease a stipend for themselves and thier spouses. Good luck to you, your employed husband, and family.

    • Mary Grzeszak

      Well said!

    • Chris

      I’m not sure about you, but I signed a contract when I signed up for the GI Bill. In fact, I paid money into the original GI Bill which does give me a sense of “entitlement”. I invested my time and money so that I will reap the rewards of my investment. That’s like saying you should have a sense of pride for being financial savvy enough to have an investment portfolio, but not a sense of entitlement to your investment. I get tired of people crying about how lucky the veterans are today to be able to go to school and not work. For some of us the housing allowance does pay our bills and takes care of our financial needs, and It is our primary source of income! 12-15 credit hours is a lot, and hooray for those who go to school and work full time, but don’t bash those of us who want to focus on school. I joined the military with the sole purpose to go to school and get an education so I can have a better career. I’m tired of the “old salty dogs” giving the 5 miles uphill both ways in snow with now shoes story. Vietnam Vets had it bad and we have it better, I understand that. The bottom line is, yes the VA offers a program that pays for school and gives a housing allowance. What do you think the housing allowance is for? So people don’t have to work full time and go to school full time. They give it for reason!!! So don’t tell me I should not have a sense of “entitlement”. I served my time with a contract that I signed. I doubt anyone on here that is complaining about the GI Bill was ever drafted into the military. I paid my money that I invested into a program so that I could go to school when I got out of the military. I have a sense of pride, and I am entitled to the benefits that I receive. Period!

    • Emily

      I think you could always tell the difference between a combat veteran and a veteran! please tell that to the men and women who have lost their friend or loved one! and insulting people education level really doesn’t make you sound very wise! I guess you can’t learn wisdom in a class! Our government is doing anything to save a dollar!

    • Lynn

      Yes,we are owed a lot!!!! If that’s the way you feel then ,so be it. But,they owe our family this and some!!!

  • John

    i got an awesome job before i even left the Navy and im going to school. i have no free time. i almost feel bad receiving bah but at the same im working my ass off so why not. wont see me complaining about an increase in 8 months