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If I Have the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Can I Switch Back to the MGIB?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I’ve applied for and been accepted for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Next semester can I apply for the Montgomery GI Bill instead? Also, I received an automatic deposit into my bank account this week for approximately $145. Do you know if that was for books or housing allowance? Thank you.

A: No, you can’t switch to the Montgomery GI Bill. What many veterans fail to realize is switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is irrevocable – once you switch, you can’t switch back. That is why it is so vitally important to know the limitations of the Post 9/11 GI Bill before switching. Because the New GI Bill is the newest, latest and greatest GI Bill, many think that is the one to have. However, failing to do their homework, they find out after they have switched, that the Post 9/11 GI Bill will not pay for their trade, technical, license or certification course. Or that it will not pay housing allowance to online-only students. In both these cases, the veterans would have been better off staying with the MGIB.

If you didn’t have the MGIB to start with, and you didn’t make your $1,200 contribution, then you wouldn’t be authorized the MGIB anyway.

As far as the $145, I don’t know what it would be for. The book stipend is paid at $41.67 per credit, so it doesn’t seem like it would be that. It could be for housing allowance if your term started only a couple of days before the end of the month, but usually they tack those couple of days onto the next months housing allowance. At the end of the term, you will get a detailed payment listing showing the amount you were paid and what it was for.

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