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Can I Still Use My MGIB Today?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I still use my MGIB today?

A: It depends on two things:

  • when you got out of the military
  • which MGIB you had.

Many people don’t realize there are two Montgomery (MGIB) GI Bills – One for the Reserve and National Guard personnel and another one for the active duty members. Each has their own set of rules. With the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve, your education benefits expire either 10 years from the date of your Notice Of Benefits Eligibility (NOBE), if you stay in the Reserve Components for over ten years, or upon discharge if you stay in less than 10 years.

For active duty members, their MGIB – the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty – expires 10 years from their date of discharge. So if you were discharged from active duty less than 10 years ago, your MGIB is still good. If you were in the Reserve Component, it expired on the date of your discharge.

If you were in after September 10, 2001 for at least 90-days, you may also qualify for the minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Three years after the above date qualifies you for the full Post 9/11 GI Bill. The education benefits of that GI Bill have a 15-year life.

If you do qualify for the New GI Bill, and you still have 36 months of MGIB left, you can switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and after your use up your 36 months, you can get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back.  Or use up your MGIB 36 months of benefits, switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get an additional 12 months of education benefits, but not your contribution back. So depending on your situation, you could have some options.

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