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Can I Use Both Chapter 35 and MGIB at the Same Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am a veteran attending college using my Montgomery GI Bill(MGIB). As many have found, its sometimes difficult making ends meet financially with the GI Bill alone. I am eligible for my father’s Chapter 35 Education Benefits. Can I use both Chapter 35 and MGIB at the same time? Thank you.

    A: No you can’t use both at the same time, however, you may get some extra months of entitlements by qualifying for both. With your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), you get 36 months of education entitlements. Under the VA’s Rule of 48, if you qualify for more than one GI Bill, you can get a combined maximum of 48 months, so you could get 12 months from Chapter 35. To get those additional 12 months, you would have to first exhaust your MGIB and then apply for Chapter 35. Just so you know, the pay will be less for Chapter 35 and you will have to use those benefits up by your 26th birthday. For the MGIB, you would be getting around $1,368 per month if you go to school full-time. Under Chapter 35, you would get around $964 per month.

    Just so you know, the GI Bill was never meant to live off of; it was meant as an educational assistance program to help veterans and servicemembers get a post-secondary education.

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