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Is There a Waiver I Can Fill Out So I’m Eligible for the MGIB At the End of This Enlistment?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am in the third year of a six-year active duty AF enlistment. I signed up for the MGIB, meaning they took the $1,200 out of my paycheck for it. Before that, I blindly signed for the College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP). The clause with CLRP is “I have to serve a second active duty term to be eligible for the MGIB”. I have not used any of the government’s money to pay back my student loans. Is there a waiver that I can have filled out so that I will be eligible for the MGIB at the end of this enlistment? Or at least get my $1,200 back?

A: Not to worry, your “second active duty term” is most likely your second three years of your six-year enlistment. When you signed up for the College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP), you incurred a three-year obligation. During those three years when you are “paying back” your CLRP obligation, you were not acquiring any GI Bill eligibility because you can’t get both CLRP and the GI Bill for the same three-year period.

So your second three year period of your six-year enlistment would establish full GI Bill eligibility for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). By full eligibility, I mean 36 months of entitlement. However, you would also be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill just from your last three years of service at no charge to you.

There are two ways you can use your GI Bills. One, you can use up your 36 months of MGIB and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get an additional 12 months of entitlement, or two, you can switch right away to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

By switching right away you won’t get the additional 12 months of time, but you would get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back once you have used up your 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement. It would come as part of your last housing allowance payment.

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