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Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)


The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is a financial benefit provided to eligible veterans, service members, and dependents through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. It aims to cover housing costs, such as rent or mortgage payments, while the individual is attending school or a training program. The amount received depends on the location and type of educational institution, as well as the individual’s enrollment status and eligibility level.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is a financial benefit provided to eligible veterans and active-duty service members participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, to assist with the cost of housing while pursuing higher education or vocational training.
  2. MHA is determined by your school’s location, your rate of pursuit (i.e. full-time or part-time), and your eligibility percentage based on the length of your military service. It is typically equal to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.
  3. To receive MHA benefits, you must be enrolled in at least one course that is part of your approved program of education and meets on campus, in person. Online courses may be eligible if specific requirements are met. MHA benefits may be adjusted or prorated, depending on various factors like your enrollment status, breaks in attendance, or changes in your course load.


The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is an important term for VA benefits as it provides a significant financial aid to eligible veterans, active service members, and their dependents pursuing higher education or training programs under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

This allowance is designed to help cover the cost of housing while they attend school, making education more accessible and contributing to their success in achieving personal and career goals.

MHA’s value depends on the location and type of educational institution, as well as the beneficiary’s enrollment status and eligibility rate.

By easing the financial burden associated with housing, the MHA plays a crucial role in enabling veterans and their families to obtain the education they need for a successful transition to civilian life.


The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is a crucial component of the VA benefits system designed to provide substantial financial support to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and their dependents as they pursue higher education or vocational training. The primary purpose of MHA is to help alleviate the burden of housing expenses that individuals may face while attending school or training courses.

By easing the financial pressure associated with housing costs, this benefit allows veterans and their dependents to concentrate on their education and acquire essential skills that can lead to rewarding careers and long-term stability. MHA is an essential tool for those seeking to transition from military service to civilian life by furthering their education and professional development.

It serves as an incentive for individuals to pursue higher education and training opportunities which directly contribute to their long-term success and advancement in the civilian workforce. By offering financial assistance for housing, MHA demonstrates a commitment to empowering veterans and their families, recognizing the sacrifices they have made for their nation and providing them with the resources and opportunities required for a bright and successful future.

Ultimately, the Monthly Housing Allowance serves as a critical lifeline for our veterans and their dependents, ensuring that they receive the support they deserve as they embark on their educational journeys and thrive in their post-military lives.

Examples of Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)

The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is provided to eligible veterans and service members under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which helps cover the cost of housing while they are enrolled in school or a training program. Here are three real-world examples of MHA in action:

A veteran who served for over three years on active duty and is now attending college full-time. This veteran resides in Chicago, Illinois, where the MHA rate is approximately $1,818 per month. The veteran is enrolled in a four-year degree program at a public university, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill covers the cost of tuition and fees, as well as providing the MHA to help with housing expenses.

A service member who was recently discharged and is using the Post-9/11 GI Bill to pursue a vocational training program in Austin, Texas. The training program is six months long, and the service member is attending full-time. The MHA rate for Austin is approximately $1,542 per month, providing financial support to help cover the service member’s housing costs while they complete their training.

A military spouse who has transferred their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits from their service member partner. The spouse is enrolled in a master’s degree program in Los Angeles, California, and attends classes online while also working full-time. Since the program is online-only, the MHA rate is set at half the national average, which is approximately $935 per month. The spouse receives the MHA to help cover housing costs while pursuing their higher education.

Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) FAQ

1. What is the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) for veterans?

The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible veterans who are utilizing their Post-9/11 GI Bill for education and training. The purpose is to cover a portion of their housing expenses when enrolled in a school or training facility.

2. How is the MHA rate determined?

The MHA rate is based on the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. The BAH rates are adjusted based on the housing costs in a particular zip code where the school or training facility is located.

3. Can I receive MHA if I am enrolled in an online course?

Yes, you can receive MHA if you are enrolled in an online course, but the amount is typically lower than for in-person classes. The MHA rate for students attending classes solely online is 50% of the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents.

4. How do I apply for the MHA benefit?

To apply for the MHA benefit, you must first apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Once your eligibility is confirmed, the MHA benefits will be included in your monthly GI Bill payments if you meet the eligibility criteria for receiving MHA.

5. Am I eligible for MHA if I am not a full-time student?

Yes, you may still be eligible for MHA even if you are not a full-time student. However, your MHA payment will be prorated based on your rate of pursuit rounded to the nearest half, or full-time status if you are attending classes at least half-time.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Benefits
  • E-5 with Dependents Rate
  • Online and Resident Training

Sources for More Information