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Do I Have to Change Over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill Before I Get Out the Army?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Do I have to change over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill before getting out the Army or do I have time to decide and find a school?

A: This is a rumor that I get asked quite a bit. What people are doing is confusing the Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Benefits rules with the conversion to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

If you are eligible to use the transfer of benefits option, then you have to make your transfer request and get it approved while you are still serving. You can not do this once you are out. However, if you want to convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill or just get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), you can do that while still on active duty or after you are out. Keep in mind you have to use your benefits within 15 years from your date of discharge.

To transfer from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990.

If you are eligible to use the transfer feature, then go to the milConnect website and enter into your spouse/dependent child(ren) record the number of months you wish to transfer. Once the transfer is approved, then each of them have to go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990e. Notice this is a different form than the one you filled out to get your COE.

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