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All Branch Topic (ABT) 5th Year of Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits for STEM Degrees

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Froggy25

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PSA for veterans using Post 9/11 GI Bill to pay for medical school:

Congress recently passed H.R. 3218 which includes an additional 9 months of benefits for STEM degree seekers. Health care professional programs and medical residencies are explicitly eligible. The bill passed 405-0 and is with the President, who is expected to sign it shortly. It goes into effect 8/1/2019. Of note, the program is capped at $30k/veteran for these 9 specific months, and the program itself is capped at $75M/yr for FY's 20-22 (2,500 users/yr). It will be interesting to see how the VA rolls this out, but is definitely good news for those of us who are Ch 33 eligible.

Full text here (hyperlink to Sect 111 for applicable information):
Text - H.R.3218 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017
 
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fivehourenergy_MD

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Does anyone know if we can still use the 9 extra months for residency?
 

Froggy25

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What if I got the Montgomery GI bill and used all 36 months of that then came back on active duty via HPSP

You start your time towards earning the post-9/11 GI Bill once all obligations are met. I.E., after your HPSP scholarship obligation is fulfilled.


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Slevin

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You start your time towards earning the post-9/11 GI Bill once all obligations are met. I.E., after your HPSP scholarship obligation is fulfilled.


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Long story short I did my 4 years enlisted prior to 9/11 and getting out before 9/11.

Then I used my Montgomery GI bill to pay for college.

I then came back on active duty via HPSP.

Do I qualify for post 9/11 GI bill?

Or am I only entitled to the extra 9 months

And also if I do qualify for the 9/11 GI bill what can entitlements am I allowed to receive during residency?

Thanks
 

Froggy25

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Long story short I did my 4 years enlisted prior to 9/11 and getting out before 9/11.

Then I used my Montgomery GI bill to pay for college.

I then came back on active duty via HPSP.

Do I qualify for post 9/11 GI bill?

Or am I only entitled to the extra 9 months

And also if I do qualify for the 9/11 GI bill what can entitlements am I allowed to receive during residency?

Thanks

BLUF: you have to serve on AD in an obligation-free timeframe to be eligible to start earning additional education benefits (not a payback period for HPSP, ROTC, academy, etc) of any kind.

Background: You can't exceed a total of 48 months of benefits under any VA educational program, with the exception of a serious employment handicap tied to a 30%+ VA disability rating under Voc Rehab (which doesn't apply to you by virtue of having a medical degree already and being on AD currently). So, theoretically you're eligible to receive an additional 12 months of education benefits under Ch 33 (post 9/11 GI Bill) once your HPSP obligation is up. The additional 9 months for stem is specific for Ch 33, and you'll cap out at 48 total months of benefits long before that comes into play. I'm assuming you're currently in residency based on your posts, so your HPSP ADSO hasn't started yet. Therefore, there's no benefit available for you to use during residency as you haven't earned it yet.

Once you finish residency and fulfill your ADSO for HPSP the clock will start for you to start earning Ch 33 benefits, but at that point you'll already be a board-certified physician so it's not much use. If you end up staying at least 4 years past your HPSP ADSO you can designate those 12 months of benefits to a dependent, but it sounds like that's a long way down the road for you.

This all assuming that I'm piecing together your situation correctly.


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Slevin

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BLUF: you have to serve on AD in an obligation-free timeframe to be eligible to start earning additional education benefits (not a payback period for HPSP, ROTC, academy, etc) of any kind.

Background: You can't exceed a total of 48 months of benefits under any VA educational program, with the exception of a serious employment handicap tied to a 30%+ VA disability rating under Voc Rehab (which doesn't apply to you by virtue of having a medical degree already and being on AD currently). So, theoretically you're eligible to receive an additional 12 months of education benefits under Ch 33 (post 9/11 GI Bill) once your HPSP obligation is up. The additional 9 months for stem is specific for Ch 33, and you'll cap out at 48 total months of benefits long before that comes into play. I'm assuming you're currently in residency based on your posts, so your HPSP ADSO hasn't started yet. Therefore, there's no benefit available for you to use during residency as you haven't earned it yet.

Once you finish residency and fulfill your ADSO for HPSP the clock will start for you to start earning Ch 33 benefits, but at that point you'll already be a board-certified physician so it's not much use. If you end up staying at least 4 years past your HPSP ADSO you can designate those 12 months of benefits to a dependent, but it sounds like that's a long way down the road for you.

This all assuming that I'm piecing together your situation correctly.


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I actually completed my HPSP payback already and now I’m in a residency program. I spent a few years as a GMO before coming back to complete residency
 

Froggy25

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I actually completed my HPSP payback already and now I’m in a residency program. I spent a few years as a GMO before coming back to complete residency

Oh alright. If you served additional AD time after your GMO tour / HPSP obligation then you should have accumulated some amount of post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility depending on how long that service time was (still capped at a max of 12 months based on your previous use of 36 months of Montgomery GI Bill benefits). Are you doing a civilian or military residency? I'm not sure if a military residency would count as an educational program (Civilian ones do for sure). Even if it did, the extra eligibility wouldn't do you much good since you can't draw GI Bill-related housing stipend (MHA) while on active duty (double dipping). If you're out and doing a civilian residency, then call the VA and ask them if you have eligibility based on the extra service time post-HPSP obligation, or log onto e-benefits and it should be there under the education tab. At least in that case you'd be able to draw E-5 MHA for the number of months of eligibility you have.
 

SeminoleFan3

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So if you only do residency and then 4 year pay back you can't use your GI bill?
 

Froggy25

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So if you only do residency and then 4 year pay back you can't use your GI bill?

As a general principle, service members don't earn GI Bill benefits while serving under obligation for previous education benefits (obligated time from USUHS, ROTC scholarships and the service academies all fall under this category).

So, it would depend if an HPSP-directed residency counts as non-obligated time. My military sense tells me that it doesn't count towards GI eligibility since you're serving under an HPSP obligation until your post-residency ADSO is complete. I'm not positive on it though.


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Homunculus

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As a general principle, service members don't earn GI Bill benefits while serving under obligation for previous education benefits (obligated time from USUHS, ROTC scholarships and the service academies all fall under this category).

So, it would depend if an HPSP-directed residency counts as non-obligated time. My military sense tells me that it doesn't count towards GI eligibility since you're serving under an HPSP obligation until your post-residency ADSO is complete. I'm not positive on it though.


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the eligibility rules are pretty specific. for ROTC/service academy you do have to serve off those years before becoming eligible for the post 9/11 GI bill benefits. then as long as you have 6 years active duty you can transfer.

for HPSP you *are* definitely eligible for post 9/11 GI bill benefits. I know of several people who did HPSP, residency, then their minimum ADSO and used the GI bill for civilian fellowships. to transfer, though, you have to serve at least 10 (3 residency+ 4 payback + 3 "extra").

unless USUHS falls under "service academy" (I don't think it does) then you would also be eligible for this benefit like HPSP.

--your friendly neighborhood transferred this golden nugget to his kids already caveman
 
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teacherman84

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So if you only do residency and then 4 year pay back you can't use your GI bill?
Not sure about USUHS, but HPSP time is definitely eligible. I'm using GI bill now during fellowship (civilian deferred) and my only time on active duty has been 3 years in an active duty residency. My ADSO isnt up until 2022 and I'm using benefits.
 
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pgg

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Are transfer rules different? I was USUHS and have never ever not been in an ADSO for that, residency, or a MSP contract. I transferred my benefits when I was still laying back the USUHS ADSO and my kids been using them the last two years.
 

Homunculus

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Are transfer rules different? I was USUHS and have never ever not been in an ADSO for that, residency, or a MSP contract. I transferred my benefits when I was still laying back the USUHS ADSO and my kids been using them the last two years.

I don't think so. for transfer you only need to be eligible for the post 9/11 GI bill and have served on active duty 6 years and agree to serve 4 more (even if you are already obligated to those 4 years). it's not a contractual obligation, if you only serve 3 and get out then the benefits simply don't transfer.

I was ROTC/HPSP. started in 2004, had 6 years active duty in 2010 *but* my ROTC obligation wasn't paid off until 2011 (obligations are paid off the same order they were accrued). I "agreed" to serve 4 more years (which I had to anyway due to HPSP) and in 2015 fulfilled that part of the agreement, which validates the transfer.

--your friendly neighborhood nearing the 14 year mark trying to decide to finish this off or transfer to the reserves/guard caveman
 

Froggy25

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This has turned into a pretty fruitful thread, even if it's fallen away from the original post a bit haha. I know I've definitely learned some stuff!


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xffan624

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This has turned into a pretty fruitful thread, even if it's fallen away from the original post a bit haha. I know I've definitely learned some stuff!


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Well back to the topic. This is text from an e-mail I got from the VA re: Forever GI Bill:

"As you know, a few weeks ago the President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the “Forever GI Bill”. This new law will implement sweeping changes to the GI Bill benefit programs that will enhance education benefits for Servicemembers, Veterans and their families. This legislation contains several new provisions, the vast majority of which will enhance or expand education benefits for Veterans, Servicemembers, Families and Survivors. I briefly discussed some of these changes in an email that I sent to you on August 17th, and shared that we have more work to do to determine how these provisions impact our beneficiaries.


As we move forward with implementation, we anticipate there will inevitably be questions from Veterans, dependents and stakeholders. As such, we have created a way for you to contact us regarding this new law. If you have questions regarding the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Assistance Act of 2017, please send us an email at [email protected]. Finally, please know and understand the size and scope of this bill (there are 34 distinct sections) will require significant resources and Information Technology (IT) changes/updates. We don’t have all the answers just yet but are working feverously to lay out a schedule and plan."
 

Perrotfish

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Questions:

1). How much does the GI Bill actually add to your take home pay in fellowship?

2). Can you transfer part of the GI Bill benefits if you use part of them? If I do a 1 year fellowship can I still transfer a 3 year GI bill?
 

Froggy25

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Questions:

1). How much does the GI Bill actually add to your take home pay in fellowship?

2). Can you transfer part of the GI Bill benefits if you use part of them? If I do a 1 year fellowship can I still transfer a 3 year GI bill?

1. It will pay you the tax-free monthly MHA for your fellowship zip code for the days that you're enrolled in the fellowship program.

2. Yes, if you've already transferred at least 1 mo of benefits to each dependent that you want to receive the benefits, and you've done the 4 yr ADSO associated with transferring those benefits.


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Perrotfish

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2. Yes, if you've already transferred at least 1 mo of benefits to each dependent that you want to receive the benefits, and you've done the 4 yr ADSO associated with transferring those benefits.
So do I need to transfer the benefits before I do the fellowship? I was thinking of going into the reserves and transferring my benefits after a 1 year fellowship. Could I still transfer 3 years of benefits after I use 1 year?
 

teacherman84

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Questions:

1). How much does the GI Bill actually add to your take home pay in fellowship?

2). Can you transfer part of the GI Bill benefits if you use part of them? If I do a 1 year fellowship can I still transfer a 3 year GI bill?
1. For perspective, I get around 1700 take home every 2 weeks from my fellowship. GI Bill MHA adds 1862 a month extra. With the 1k for books, it's adding over 23k for the year.
2. As others are saying, you can transfer what you don't use.
 

Froggy25

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So do I need to transfer the benefits before I do the fellowship? I was thinking of going into the reserves and transferring my benefits after a 1 year fellowship. Could I still transfer 3 years of benefits after I use 1 year?

You need to transfer the benefits through the ebenefits website, and THEN do 4 years on active duty afterwards, regardless of how long you've already served. The 4 year clock starts the day that you designate benefits to your dependents.
 

Froggy25

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So I used all of my post-911 months already. I'll still be a resident in 2019 when it goes into effect. Can I still sign up for 9 more months?

I'm not sure - It'll probably probably depend on how the VA interprets and implements the law. There might be some info in the full text of the law that's hyper-texted in the original post.
 
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