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Can I Use Both TA and the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am an Army Reservist. I was told by my VA Rep at my school that because I applied for TA, I was no longer able to receive the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I have found some info about the subject, and I think that I would be covered under the “Top-Up” program? If so, would I still receive the BAH as entitled under the Post 9/11? Thanks for all your help!

A: Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill are in no way related to each other, so I don’t know what basis your VA Rep was using to tell you that. As far as the Top-Up program, it is true that servicemembers under the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR) are not authorized to use Top-Up, however, you have given up your rights to the MGIB-SR and opted for the Post 9/11 GI Bill in which you can use Top-Up.

Keep in mind when you use your Post 9/11 GI Bill, it will only pay at the tier percentage you have attained. In other words, if your deployment time put you at the 70% tier, then the Post 9/11 GI Bill will only pay 70% of your Top-Up amount and you would only get 70% of the housing allowance.

The payment structure is all dependent on your tier level and your tier level is dependent on how many months you have of qualifying active duty Title 10 service. So, the more months of deployments, the higher your tier percentage.

The Top-Up program is a great program, because it allows you to use your GI Bill entitlement at a slower rate than if you did not have Tuition Assistance helping you.

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