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Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: What is the process to transfer my Post-9/11 GI Bill to my daughter?

A: I’m making the assumption you are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill transfer option by having served at least six years on active duty and agreeing to serve an additional four years, or that you are close to retirement. The other qualifier is that you are still on active duty–you can’t make a transfer once you are discharged.

If you meet both of the above requirements, then go to the TEB Website and after logging in, you will see your daughter’s file. Click on the Transfer Column and enter the number of months you want to transfer to her and a Transfer Begin date.

From the Submit Transfer Page, click on Post-9/11 GI Bill and check the boxes confirming you read and understand the statements. Click the Submit button.

If the submission is successful, you will see a Confirmation Page. The Information Section of the Submit Transfer Page will show a status of Submitted and a Status Request Date blank. Keep checking back on this page for updated status. When the transfer is complete, the status will change to Request Approved and the date of approval will be in the Status Request Date block.

The next step is for your daughter to submit VA Form 22-1990e. In return, she will get back a Certificate of Eligibility, which she will need when she goes to enroll in school.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: When it comes to the GI Bill, what are all the possible ways the GI Bill can expire? If it was used at one point, but not all, is it still transferable? I would like to know all the options or situations when it can be expired.

A: First we have to break it down into the individual GI Bills. Generally speaking, a GI Bill will expire in one of two ways. Either you will run out of months of benefits from using it or hit your delimiting date. Here is a run-down on both from the three major GI Bills:

If a servicemember qualifies for both the MGIB-AD and the Post 9/11 GI Bills, under the Rule of 48, he or she is limited to a maximum of 48 months of combined benefits. The way to keep your MGIB-AD benefits from expiring, due to running out of months of benefits, is to first exhaust your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB-AD), then switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It also extends out your delimiting date from 10 years to 15 years.

With any of the GI Bills, your delimiting date is based upon your discharge date. If you get re-called to active duty service, it will extend out your delimiting date from your new discharge date.

In regard to the transferability part, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the only one having a transfer option. You can only transfer up to the number of months of benefit you have left, but you have to make the transfer while you are still serving. After you are discharged, it is too late. Well I think that about covers all the ways that I can think of.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I applied for my Chapter 1607 GI Bill benefits online. Do I still need to submit a copy of my DD214 and kicker contract?

A: Yes you do. The VA needs your DD214 to verify your dates and types of service you entered on your VA Form 22-1990; they need your DA Form 3286-66 (Army) or NGB 5435-R Annex K (National Guard) kicker contract to verify how much you signed up for.  With that program , the amounts have varied through the years, and without a copy of your kicker contract, they will not know how much to pay you for your Chapter 1607 GI Bill.

To find your kicker contract, look through your enlistment contract.  It will be in there as an annex or addendum. If you can’t find it there, go to your online military records folder and do a search.

Once you find it, print it off and then fax it to the VA along with a copy of your DD214. Once the VA verifies you eligibility, you should start receiving your kicker payment with your Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance. Your kicker should be divided into 36 payments, so you will get one each month for as long as you are in school, up to the 36 months.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have 24 months and 5 days left of GI Bill benefits. I am transferring to another school as a sophomore. Can I finish my degree with that amount of benefits left?

A:  Assuming you had 36 months of GI Bill benefits when you started school,  that is usually enough to get a four-year degree by going to school for four 9-month academic years. With 24 months of GI Bill benefits left, I’m going to assume you are probably into your third month of your sophomore year (12 – 9 = 3).  Twenty four months of benefits will provide you with two 9-month academic years with 6 months left over. So if you are in your third month or more of your sophomore year, you will have enough to finish.  If you are at the less-than-3-month mark, you will be short.

You don’t say which GI bill you currently have, but consider this: If you have the Montgomery GI Bill, and you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill also, you can get some additional months of schooling.  First exhaust your MGIB benefits, then switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get up to an additional 12 months.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is it possible to use the Chapter 30 GI Bill at one school and either the Chapter 30, or Post 9/11 GI Bill, at a second school? I am attending 3/4 time at the first school completely online. The second would be actually at the other school.

A: O.K., let’s break this down into a couple of different parts and address each part independently. First, you can’t use two separate GI Bills at the same time. Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, you can get a combined maximum benefit of 48 months. If you currently have Chapter 30, and you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you’ll get whatever months you have left on your Chapter 30 GI Bill, however, you also relinquish your eligibility to your Chapter 30 GI Bill. If you first exhaust your Chapter 30, and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can get up to an additional 12 months of education benefits.

The second part is yes, you can attend two different schools under the same GI Bill. However, it would be more lucrative to do it under the Post 9/11 GI Bill because then the VA will pay your tuition and fees at both schools up to the in-state maximum amount established by the VA for your state. You, in turn, get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend. If you run this scenario under Chapter 30, then you get a fixed $1,368 per month and you have to pay your tuition, fees and all education-related expenses at both schools; the VA pays nothing directly to either one.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have successfully transferred my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to my son going off to college this fall. What does he need to accomplish to set up the benefits with his college?

A: First, your son needs to submit VA Form 22-1990e either online through VONAPP, or by downloading the form, completing it and sending it in by snail mail using the instructions on the form. In return, he will get a GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that he will need to bring to his school when he goes to register.  His school VA Rep will send in their form to the VA and the VA will match up the school’s form and your son’s certificate to start payment process.  The VA will pay your son’s tuition and eligible fees directly to his school.  Monthly, your son will get a Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, paid at the E-5-with-dependents rate for the zip code of his school, and $41.67 per credit in a book stipend. The book stipend is capped annually at $1,000, so he can get that for up to 24 credits per year.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was in the Army and reenlisted 3 years into my 4-year contract for an additional 5 years. I was honorably discharged in Iraq for a few seconds to reenlist. I got back from my third tour to Iraq and I was over the weight standards. After a year of trying to lose the weight I was separated 1 year and 11 months into my SECOND enlistment.  I was given a general under honorable conditions discharge, but it was for both enlistments. I don’t understand why my DD-214 doesn’t show 2 separate periods of enlistment. The first “honorable” and the second “under honorable conditions”. How can I prove to the VA that I have an fully honorable discharge for my first term if my DD214 doesn’t show it. Should I bring my reenlistment papers?

A: The problem is you did not have two enlistments – you had one enlistment and one re-enlistment; there is a big difference between the two. To have two enlistments, you would have needed at a one-day break in service between the two terms of service, which it sounds like you did not have.

With you saying you were  ”honorably discharged in Iraq for a few seconds to reenlist” sounds like you were manipulated, because a service does not discharge you when you re-enlist. They put you into whatever status they needed to for your re-enlistment to get approved, but it was not a discharge. Think about it – why would they discharge you when you were 3 years into your 4-year enlistment? If they discharged you, you would have needed a whole new enlistment contract and not re-enlistment papers.

Showing the VA a copy of your re-enlistment papers won’t accomplish anything as your re-enlistment has nothing to do with your discharge – the Army discharged you because of your failure to comply with AR  600-9. Unfortunately, your discharge status prevents you from using the GI Bill.

Your best bet now is to file a discharge appeal with the Army Board of Corrections explaining what happened and that you were duped into believing you were honorably discharged when in fact you were not.  Good luck.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If you get out of the Army on a hardship, do you still receive your GI Bill?

A: Yes you do get the GI Bill on a hardship discharge. You’ll get one month of benefit for each month served, but depending on which Bill you have, they will pay differently.

With the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), it is pretty straight-forward. You’ll get up to $1,321 per month for the number of months you served to go to school and you will have to pay all your own education expenses, such as tuition, books and fees.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the number of months you served will equate to a tier percentage. For example, if you served 18 months, before getting out on a hardship discharge, you’ll be at the 70% tier. So what does that mean?

It means you will get 36 months of education benefit, but you only get paid 70% of the full benefit, So:

  • the VA pays 70% of your tuition and fees directly to your school – you are responsible for the other 30%;
  • you get a monthly housing allowance, but only 70%  of the E-5-with-dependents rate for the zip code of your school;
  • you get up to 70% of the book and supplies stipend, or up to $700.00 instead of the $1,000.

Regardless, of which Bill you use, both of them will pay you something to go to school; it is just for how long and the amount varies that between the two Bills.

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have about nine months left on my Chapter 30 GI Bill. Do I qualify for Chapter 33? Should I change over to Chapter 33 or can I get Chapter 33 after my Chapter 30 runs out? I retired from Army active duty Oct 06.

A: If you got out in 2006, yes you do qualify at the 100% tier for the Post 9/11 GI Bill or Chapter 33. If you play your cards right, you can get an additional 12 months of education benefits.  Here’s how.

First, exhaust your Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Once they are used up, then apply to switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill by using the VONAPP Website.

If you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill before exhausting your Chapter 30 benefits, then you will only get the same number of months you had left on your Chapter 30.  But, by using up your Chapter 30 first, and then switching, you get the additional 12 months. Crazy huh? It is called the Rule of 48, where if you qualify for two GI Bills, you can get up to 48 months of combined benefits.

Many veterans miss out on the additional 12 months because they don’t know about the Rule of 48 and how it works. Good luck!

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was honorably discharged from active duty in the Army in 2001, and I participated in the GI Bill. I have not yet used it to go to school, but I would like to. Am I still eligible to receive benefits?

A: Yes you are still eligible to receive your GI Bill benefits, but you should hurry. If you got out in 2001, you would have the Montgomery GI Bill and its benefits expire 10 years from your date of discharge. So depending on when you got out in 2001, you have anywhere from 6 to 18 months to use your benefits; after that, they are gone.

You can get up to $1,321 per month that you can use to pay your education expenses to go to school for:

  • degree-producing programs;
  • certifications and licenses programs;
  • apprenticeships/OJT programs;
  • correspondence courses.

You can apply for your benefits by filling out VA Form 22-1990 either online or downloading the form, filling it out and mailing it in according to the instructions on the form. Once approved, the VA will send you your Certificate of Eligibility. When you go to enroll in school, take your certificate with you and you should be good to go.