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Under the Rule of 48, What Do I Have Left for GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: This refers to the “Rule of 48″ VA policy. I entered Active duty OCT 77 departed OCT 85 and I have used 18 months of GI Bill benefits. It was not the Montgomery Bill. I returned to active duty (Title 10 call up) May 2009 and departed July 2011. What benefits do I have remaining? Thank you.

A: Yes, back in that era you most likely had VEAP as the Montgomery GI Bill did not start until 1984. Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, the maximum combined number of months of GI Bill benefits you can have is 48 months.

With VEAP you would have initially had 36 months of benefits and you have used 18 of those months already. Unfortunately, to get the additional 12 months of benefits, you first have to exhaust all the months of benefits under one GI Bill. So in your case, you would have needed to use up all 36 of your VEAP months to get the additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill. Because had not, you would be eligible for only 18 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill or the amount of unused benefits you had left from your VEAP.

Also, because you had 26 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill qualifying service, you would be at the 80% tier, meaning the VA would pay up to 80% of your tuition and eligible fees (at a public school) and you would get up to 80% of the housing allowance and book stipend for the number of months of entitlement you have left.

Even though you were probably hoping for more months of benefits, this is still a good deal for you if you want to go back to school.

Comments  (4)

I have 28 days of the post 911 GI BILL, can I get the 12 months extension to finish my degree.

10:09 am on September 25, 2012

I doubt it Antonio, unless you have another GI Bil that you have not used yet. If you first used 36 months under a GI Bil such as the MGIB, switched and have now used up your Post 9/11 GI Bill, you would be at your maximum combined months of 48. Under the Rule of 48, that is all the months you can get.

However, if the Post 9/11 GI Bill is your first GI Bill that you have used and you still have another one left, you should be able to get an additional 12 months of education benefits under that GI Bill. But most likely you would not be able to get an additional 12 months under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, being you have are already exhausted that GI Bill.

posted by Ron Kness
10:31 am on September 30, 2012

I was told by the VA people in Muskogee that if I fail to use up my montgomery gi bill in its entirety before its delimiting date that I can then use the post 911 gi bill until i have reached 48 months total or until I reached 15 years since I ets’d.

posted by Mark Young
9:21 pm on April 1, 2013

That could be correct as I have heard that the VA was changing their policy where you would not have to exhaust all of you MGIB in order to get the 12 additional months under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I just have not yet seen anything from them in writing as to the change.

posted by Ron Kness
9:46 am on April 2, 2013
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