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How Do I Change from the Montgomery GI Billl to the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi, I recently finished a 5-year term in the Navy and want to know the process to change my Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 GI Bill? I appreciate the help in advance!

A: The process is simple – submit VA Form 22-1990 online from the eBenefits website. However, are you sure you want to do that? Changing GI Bills is a one-way street; once you change, you can’t go back.

Right now, the Post 9/11 GI Bill generally only pays for degree-producing programs or non-degree programs taught at degree producing schools, so if your educational plan is getting trade or technical training, or a license or certification, your course may not be covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but most likely would be by the MGIB.

However, that policy will change in the fall. After that, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will in many respects mirror the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and pay for non-degree courses taught at non-degree schools.

There are two more considerations to think about. If you stay with the MGIB, and exhaust all your entitlement, you can then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get an additional 12 months of entitlements. But if you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill now, with all your MGIB entitlements intact, once you exhaust your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back as part of your last housing allowance payment.

Comments  (16)

Hi, I have been in ANG for 9 years now and have not used my GI Bill or Kicker. I’m not sure if I still have it or not, or if I’m under the old MGI Bill or Post 911 GI Bill. I want to go back and finish school. What should I do.

posted by Tammy
12:30 pm on October 23, 2012

If you have not deployed during your time in the ANG, then all you will have is the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). Under that GI Bill, you have to use your benefits by the 10th year from your date of eligibility which was when you received your Notice of Benefits Eligibility (NOBE). Since you have 9 years in, you most likely have less than 1 year to use your GI Bill benefits. And if you still qualify for your Kicker, that time would be the same as you have to use your Kicker in conjunction with a GI Bill.

However, if you deployed on a Title 10 Order in support of a contingency operation for at least 90 days or more after September 10, 2001, then you may have some eligibility under that GI Bill. You have 15 years from your date of discharge to use those benefits and you could also use your Kicker with that GI Bill if you are still eligible for it.

posted by Ron Kness
10:29 am on November 14, 2012

I am active army and have only 9 mos left until i ets. ive been in 4yrs and deployed before. I already bought a house and want to go to school there. But i have not used any of my gibill but i like that the post 911 pays for housing while you go to school. and also how long will the post 911 pay for full time school? Thanks

posted by Michael Green
8:51 pm on November 26, 2012

I’m enrolled into the MGIB and currently have 3 month left over of benefits. I understand if I exhaust my remaining MGIB, I’m eligible to receive an additional 12 months of post 911 GI Bill benefits.
If I were to change my Benefits to the Post 911 GI Bill, then exhaust my remaining 3 months, would I still be eligible to receive an additional 12 months of the Post 911 GI Bill, totaling 15 months of Post 911 GI Bill Benefits?

posted by Jose N.
7:52 pm on January 21, 2013

I have been honorably discharded from the Army since 1993, was a veteran of the first Gulf War, participated in the payments for the GI Bill but have not used those benefits. My daughter is getting ready to go to college next fall and asked me since i did not use the benefit can that be transferred to her to use or have i waited too long and no longer eligible to transfer? Thank you for any help.

posted by Brian Hurych
8:22 pm on January 25, 2013

I am in the process of activating my MGIBILL beining a returee can I transfer my MGIBILL to my dependents or spouse.

posted by Robert Wallace
11:15 pm on February 28, 2013

You waited too long to even use the benefit for yourself. It expired in 2003 – 10 years from your date of discharge. But your daughter did not lose out on anything as the Montgomery GI Bill, which is the one you had at the time, did not have a benefit transfer option to it anyway.

posted by Ron Kness
8:53 am on March 16, 2013

Nope, if you don’t fully exhaust your MGIB before switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then all you would get is 3 months under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

posted by Ron Kness
8:55 am on March 16, 2013

I got 2 more years before my MGIB expires. I’m currently in a non-degree program at a private college. If I switch over to the post 9/11 bill, will they pay my tuition up front? or is it like the MGIB with a monthly full-time allowance?

posted by twinpillars
11:57 pm on March 20, 2013

The VA would pay up to $18.077.50 per year in tuition and eligible fees for you to go to a private school. In addition, you would get a monthly housing allowance and $83 per month in book stipend money.

posted by Ron Kness
10:21 am on March 29, 2013

With four years of service you would have 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that you can use.

posted by Ron Kness
10:31 am on March 29, 2013

No you cqn’t. If you qre uwing the Montgomery GI Bill, it never had a transfer option to it. If you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you have to be serving at the time you make a transfer request.

posted by Ron Kness
8:54 am on May 1, 2013

I want to switch to the post 9/11. Who is the point of contact I can talk to in person(AD ARMY)?
I want to trasfer it to my son in 11 years but I’m also thinking about using it to get my IT degree. Any suggestions? Thank You in advance!

posted by Darrel
2:32 am on May 4, 2013

To make a transfer request, just go to the milConnect website and follow the Transfer of Benefits Section. Once your transfer is approved, look for the status to change from “Transfer Pending” to “Transfer Approved”, then your son will have to request his Certificate of Eligibility once he is ready to go to school. He can get his certificate by submitting VA form 22-1990e from the eBenefits website.

posted by Ron Kness
6:11 pm on May 5, 2013

i am currently in the active army. i am single (no dependents), and im just wondering what would be the best choice for me as far as the post 9/11 gi bill v. the mgib? i signed for 4 active 4 inactive, i ets in 2016 and i recently requested TA. Thank you.

posted by Robinson
12:56 pm on June 25, 2013

If you have the MGIB already and are using TA, then stick with the MGIB. The way TA works is your service branch pays all of your tuition and then bills the VA for the portion that exceeds what TA can legally pay. The VA in turn converts that dollar amount they were billed for by your service branch into days and months of benefits and deducts that amount from your remaining unused MGIB benefits. So if that figure ends up being 2 months and 22 days, that is what they will deduct.

However, if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would deduct a whole semester’s worth of entitlement (4 months) for those 2 months and 22 days. Different GI Bills – different rules. So if you are using TA, sticking with the MGIB is a better use of your benefits.

posted by Ron Kness
10:52 am on June 28, 2013
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