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Is Eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Automatic?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I apologize in advance if my question has already been answered somewhere else in this blog. I currently have the MGIB and have about 4 years of active service left before I retire. I had a break in service for 3 years (1996-1999) at which time I was in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR) and I did use some of the MGIB during my break in service. What I would like to do is transfer some of the benefits of the Post-911 GI Bill to my sons if that is possible, but from what I gather, obtaining the Post-911 is not automatic… (Even though my admin office told me it was) I would like to know what I need to do in order to obtain the Post-911 GI Bill and transfer benefits to my children.

A: What your admin office told you is true in the sense that if you served for at least 90 days on a Title 10 order after September 10, 2001, you do have some Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility without having to do anything further. As you might remember, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) had a $1,200-contribution fee that had to be paid first in order to qualify for it; there is no contribution fee for the Post 9/11 GI Bill – you get it free just from your service to your country. Being you are still serving you should have full eligibility in the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

However, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is not automatic in the sense that it’ll just appear out of nowhere. You have to apply to use it and in the process, give up what benefits you have left under the MGIB. So because you have used some of your MGIB benefits, the most number of Post 9/11 GI Bill months you can get is the same number of months you have left under the MGIB.

To make a transfer of benefits request, go to the milConnect website and follow the Transfer of Benefits Section. Once your transfer is complete, each son receiving benefits from you will have to go to the eBenefits website and fill out VA Form 22-1990e. In return, each one will get a Certificate of Eligibility that they will need when enrolling in school as GI Bill students.

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