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Can I Use Both The Montgomery and Post 9/11 G.I. Bills?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I heard that you can apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill even after the MGIB runs out.  I qualify for the Post 9/11 Bill, so I was wondering how I would go about applying for it.  My MGIB runs out at the end of this semester.

A: If you qualify for both, yes you can get extra benefits by switching over to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill – up to an additional 12 months of education benefit.  Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more G.I. Bills, you can get a maximum of 48 months of benefit – 36 months from one Bill and the additional 12 months from the second.

The trick to getting the additional months is to do just as you are doing – exhaust your Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB) benefits first and then switch over to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.  If you switch before exhausting the MGIB, you only get the same number of months you on your New G.I. Bill as you had left under your old Bill; you don’t get the additional 12 months.  Yes, I know it is a strange rule, but that is how it works.  You are doing it the smart way to maximize your G.I. Bill benefits.

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