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How Do I Get My Additional 12 Months Of GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have 22 months of eligibility left and approximately 24 months left to use or lose my Chapter 30 benefits. I do qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill for up to 60%, however, I understand I have to use all of my Chapter 30 benefits first. Please help me with this scenario. If I use all of my benefits up say on October 2012 and apply for the new post 9/11 GI Bill in November to cover my last two months of school (and since my 10 years will expire in January 2013), will I get another 10 months of coverage for November and December into January since I used all of my benefits and applied before my 10-year mark? Also from what I understand you get 15 years to use the benefits correct for Post 9/11? One last question, I heard there is a proposed bill that may go into effect next year allowing veterans to be eligible for the housing allowance even if they attend courses online through distance education (any truth to the rumor?) Thanks!

A: You don’t have to use up all your Chapter 30 benefits to switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill; you can switch at any time and you will get the same number Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements you had under Chapter 30.

You do have to use up all of your Chapter 30 benefits first to get the additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements.

Exhaust your Chapter 30 entitlements first and then send in a new VA Form 22-1990 indicating you want to switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. That will get you your additional 12 months and should extend out your delimiting date by an additional 5 years being the Post 9/11 GI Bill has a delimiting date of 15 years instead of the 10 years on Chapter 30.

As far as your last question, yes there is a bill in federal legislation that would pay veterans taking online-only classes 50% of the housing allowance, if it passes.

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