There have been some major changes in how the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay benefits in the future. These changes will directly effect your wallet in upcoming terms. Some of the most critical changes to you include:
Effective 1 AUG 2011: BREAK PAY IS NO LONGER AUTHORIZED. This means that BAH payments will not be paid between terms. Most critically: BAH stops at the end of term in mid-December and will not resume until the start of the Spring term in mid-January. You will need to save up money to make it through the holidays. (Note: this change applies to ALL DVA educational benefit programs.)
Effective 1 AUG 2011: (moved up from 1 OCT 2011) BAH WILL BE PRORATED. This means that if you are only attending school half-time (over six units) you will only receive HALF of the BAH. You will have to attend classes at a full load (12 units or more for Fall and Spring, 6 units for Summer) in order to receive the full BAH payment.
Positive changes include:
You can get BAH while taking only online classes - but at a much lower rate: half the national average BAH for an E-5. (1 Oct 2011).
Effective 1 Oct 2011 active duty members can be paid the book stipend.
Voc-Rehab (Chapter 31) members also eligible for Post-9/11 can elect the higher BAH (as of 1 Aug 2011).
Payment can be received for national examinations (like SAT) or national certification tests on or after 1 Aug 2011.
Members of the National Guard, Public Health Service (PHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) may be eligible for benefits.