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Do I Qualify for Additional Benefits Under the New GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was Army National Guard soldier and received and used the entire Montgomery GI Bill in the 1990’s. I served 18 months with OIF in 2004-05. I retired in 2007. Do I qualify for additional educational benefits under the New GI Bill?

A: Yes you do. The way a Selected Reservist qualifies for the Post 9/11 GI Bill is by serving on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation, such as OIF, OEF and other operations. With an 18 month deployment, you should qualify for 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at the 70% tier level, meaning the VA would pay 70% of your tuition and eligible fees, you would get 70% of the housing allowance and 70% of the book stipend.

You will be limited to just an additional 12 months of education benefits because of the VA’s Rule of 48. Under that rule, if a servicemember or veteran qualifies for two or more GI Bills, the maximum number of combined educational entitlement can’t exceed 48 months. If you had not already used up your Montgomery GI Bill, then you would have qualified for 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements, but not the additional 12 months. Also switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with all your months of entitlement intact, you would have gotten back your $1,200 MGIB contribution once you finished using your last month of benefit.

To use your additional 12 months of benefit, submit VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website to get your Certificate of Eligibility. You will need that when enrolling in school as a Post 9/11 GI Bill student.

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