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Even Though I Had SLRP, Am I Still Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I signed up for the SLRP, and served 3 years on active duty. My loans have been paid off by the SLRP. I am currently on a 6-year contract with the Army Reserves. I want to go to school. I know I waived my rights to the Montgomery GI Bill, but am I still eligible for the Post 9/11 or can I at least use the Reserves GI Bill?

A: While you were on active duty and under SLRP, you were not building eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Why? Because you can’t get SLRP and the GI Bill for the same three-year period.

Being you enlisted into the Reserves for six years, you should be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). The trick to the MGIB-SR is you have to use it within ten years of your NOBE (Notice of Benefits Eligibility) date or you lose it. Also, it expires on the date of your discharge should you get out sooner than 10 years of Reserve service.

While it is an education option, the MGIB-SR doesn’t pay much in contrast to the other GI Bills. Right now, you would get $356 per month to go to school full-time. Of course, you would also get your drill pay, Federal Tuition Assistance and possibly some state benefits as a Reserve member going to school depending on where you live. And you would have to pay all your education expenses.

As far as being eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill? No, you would not be right now, however, with a deployment on a Title 10 Order in support of a contingency operation, you could be. A typical one-year tour would put you at the 60% tier level. Three years of deployment would get you to the 100% tier. With Iraq over and Afghanistan winding down, deployment tours are going to be harder to get in the future, but you may still be able to get on one or two.

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