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Can I Still Pay Into the Buy-Up Program to Increase My Montgomery GI Bill Payment?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am getting ready to retire next year and plan to use my MGIB benefits for 36 months and then the extra 12 months of Post 9/11. I have read some information on a buy up program for an extra $600. I cannot find anything on how to apply for that option. Can I just go to my administration office for the necessary forms? – Jason

A: You can pay your Buy-Up Program contribution Jason by filling out and submitting DD-2366-1 though your Orderly Room. Just so you know, you can contribute anywhere from $20 to the full $600. By contributing the maximum amount, you would get an additional $5,400 in additional school money (or about $150 per month as a full-time student for 36 months) above and beyond what you get from the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). Your MGIB and Buy-Up would run out at the same time.

Right now the MGIB is paying $1,648 per month, so the Buy-Up would push your total amount up to $1,798 per month.

When you would start using your MGIB, be sure to send in copies of your LES (if you pay through payroll deduction), or a copy of your DD Form 1131 (if you made a lump sum payment) along with your VA Form 22-1990. That is the only way the VA knows you have made a Buy-Up Program contribution and it is the trigger to pay you the additional amount each month while in school.

Oh … and just so you know, the Buy-Up program cannot be used with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. So if you would happen to switch to it before you exhaust your MGIB, you would lose what you had left in your Buy-Up Program and you would not get any of that contribution back either.

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