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Is There More Than One GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I recently received information in the mail about the MGIB, as well as the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I was given my 24 month reminder about my education benefits, which stated that I could use my Post 9/11 GI Bill, and that if I paid for my MGIB, that I would be eligible for that as well. I thought there was only “one” GI Bill to use. What’s not clear to me, is whether or not I’ll receive both, or one, and it seems I get different information per person I ask, and I’m just seeking clarification. Thanks for the help!

A: There are actually six GI Bills right now:

  • MGIB-AD;
  • MGIB-SR;
  • REAP;
  • VEAP;
  • DEA;
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill.

You may be eligible for two GI Bills – your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB-AD) and the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The key is though, you can’t use both at the same time. So your choices are to finish using your 24 months of MGIB benefits, and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill (and get an additional 12 months of benefits) or to switch right now and use up your remaining 24 months as Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, but not get the additional 12 months.

Which one you choose largely depends on your education goal as the Post 9/11 GI Bill (right now) will not normally pay for non-degree courses, where the MGIB will pay for both degree and non-degree programs. Also, the pay structure is vastly different between the two.

You become eligible for minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits by serving on active duty for at least 90-days after September 10, 2001 with no contribution required. Three years of service after that date gets you full benefits, except the transfer option.

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