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Should I Get Back My Montgomery GI Bill Prorated $1,200 Contribution and Convert to Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I got out in 1999 and used only part of my Montgomery GI Bill to complete a master’s degree. I was involuntarily called up for the 2006 surge, but stayed in the Regular Army through the present as a LTC. I want to transfer my GI Bill to my sons. Should I get back the prorated $1,200 and convert to Post 9/11 GI Bill? Or can I transfer both the Montgomery GI and Post 9/11 GI Bill (48 months minus the small part I used)? Since I am back active duty do I do this through G1 or VA?

A: O.K., you have several questions here (all great questions by-the-way) and I’ll do my best to answer them in the order asked. First, to transfer your GI Bill to your sons, you have to convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill as the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) does not have a transfer-to-dependents option.So with that said, that answers your second question – you can’t transfer both your MGIB and Post 9/11 GI Bill.

As far as getting back your “prorated $1,200”, there is not a mechanism in place to get your MGIB contribution back before you transfer to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. How that happens is if you transfer with months of MGIB left, you get back your prorated contribution after you finish up using your last month of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that you brought over from the MGIB. Your prorated contribution would come as part of your last Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance.

As far as transferring both the MGIB and Post 9/11 GI Bills, you can’t for a couple of reasons – one which we have already mentioned; the MGIB does not have a transfer-of-benefits option. But that is not the main reason. When you convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you have to “give up” your rights to another GI Bill and if the MGIB is the only other one you have, then it is the one you have to give up, so in essence, you would not have anything left of the MGIB to use.

And when you transfer to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the number of months that you would transfer over are only the number of months you have left under the MGIB; you would not get the additional 12 months as you would if you would have first exhausted your MGIB and then converted over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

As far as making the transfer request, you won’t do it through either your G1 or the VA; instead you would go to the milConnect website and make your transfer request there. Make sure you do it while you are still on active duty.

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