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New GI Bill Housing Rates for US Territories

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New GI Bill Housing Rates for US Territories

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made a major change to the administrative policy regarding the monthly housing allowance for Post-9/11 GI Bill eligible veterans who reside in the U.S. territories (Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, etc). The change, which went into effect on August 3, 2012, means that veterans residing in the U.S. territories will now receive a monthly housing allowance (MHA) based on the Overseas Housing Allowance assigned to the area by the Department of Defense.

The Post-9/11 stipend for housing for these locations used to set at the national average BAH rate, which was set at $1,368 in January 2012.  This new policy will mean that full-time on-campus student veterans in Guam will see their housing stipend increase to $2,450 a month – the full basic allowance for housing overseas at the E-5 with dependents level. This revision is not retroactive.

According to a press release from Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, this administrative policy change is a direct result of a letter written to the VA last year and subsequent meetings with Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Read Congresswoman Bordallo’s full press release.

The VA not posted an official statement on this policy change on their GI Bill website. But, until otherwise advised, veterans should be assume that this new policy does not reflect a change in the online payment rate, which is set at half the average national BAH – $684.

The following are some examples of the Overseas Housing Allowance payment rates for some U.S. territories:

  • Puerto Rico (Aguadilla): $1,700
  • Puerto Rico (Fort Buchanan): $1,560
  • Puerto Rico (Mayaguez): $1.725
  • St. Thomas, VI: $2,556
  • St. Croix, VI $2,167
  • Guam: $2,450

Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill

 

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