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What Are My Benefits As a Reservist with 8 Years of Active Duty and the $1200 MGIB Contribution?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If I served 8 years on active duty, and then later signed up with the Reserves for 6 years, what are my education benefits as a reservist considering that I paid $1,200 for MGIB while on active duty prior.

A: It depends on when you served your 8 years and if you deployed as a reservist. Because you made the $1,200 contribution, you have or had the Montgomery GI Bill. It has a 10-year delimiting date calculated on your date of discharge, so depending on when you got it, it could have expired. If you got out less than 10 years ago, then it should still be good.

If you served three years on active duty after September 10, 2001, then you would also qualify for 100% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you did not qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill through your Title 10 active duty time, you still might qualify for partial benefits if you deployed on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation while in the Reserves. A one-year deployment puts you at the 60% tier, meaning the VA would pay up to 60% of your tuition, fees, book stipend and housing allowance.

Or you could have an amalgamation of Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility time you acquired with some time on active duty and additional time if you deployed while on a Title 10 order while in the Reserves.

Without more information, I can’t give you a more precise answer, however, I can offer this little-known tidbit. If you never used your Montgomery GI Bill benefit and you fully qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, once you switch from the MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill  and use up your Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements, you will get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back. It will be included with your last housing allowance payment.

Use up your MGIB months of entitlement and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill (if eligible) and you can get an additional 12 months of entitlement, but not any of your contribution back.

Comments  (2)

Question? Does your GI bill delimiting date start the day before your IRR time or the day after your IRR time? And to ensure soldiers ar Vets are clear…once their GI bill delimiting has expired they can still qualify for the 60% situation if they deploy so it will be as if they never purchased the Active duty plan if they decided to come back into the military after their first tenure

posted by mlssr77
7:54 am on May 30, 2011

A GI Bill delimiting date starts on the day of your discharge. As far as the second part of your question, you are partially right. We can’t make a statement saying “they can still qualify for the 60% situation of they deploy” because the percentage depends on how long they deploy. If they deploy for one year, , but less than 18 months, then it is 60%. However, if their deployment is even one day short of one year, then they qualify at the 50% tier.

The other part of your question I need to clarify is you saying “so it will be as if they never purchased the Active duty plan . . .” That statement is correct only if they had never used their first GI Bill plan. If they had went to school under their first plan, then the number of months of entitlement under the second plan would be reduced by the number of months they had went to school under the first plan. For example, if they went to school for 12 months under the first GI Bill plan, and it had expired, once they qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, they would only get 24 months of entitlement instead of the 36, because they had already used up 12 months of it under the first plan.

You have to be careful when making a blanket statement that exceptions don’t exist (of which there usually at least one).

posted by Ron Kness
7:22 am on June 2, 2011
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