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If You Have Both the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Can You Use Both?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If you have both the MGI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, can you use both or only one? And which one is a better choice to use?

A: I’ll give you my standard answer of “It depends”, because it does. If you are eligible for both the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can use a combined maximum of 48 months of benefits. The trick comes in on HOW to use both GI Bills to get that maximum amount from both of them.

If you use up all of your MGIB benefits first and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can get the additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. However, if you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with unused MGIB benefits left, then all you would get is the same number of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits as you had left under the MGIB and not the additional 12 months. So while you can use both GI Bills, it is the manner in which you use them that determines if you get your 48 months of benefits or not.

As far as which one is better to use? In most cases, the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays more than the MGIB, but it really comes down to how many months you need to finish out your education goal. If your plan is to get a four-year degree, then you may want to switch now and get the higher pay of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

However, if your goal is to get an advanced degree, then you may want to finish out using your MGIB and then switch to get the additional time which should cover your first year of Grad school.

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