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As an Actively Participating Reservist, Do I Qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I retired from the Air Force Reserves in October 2008. I spent 10 years on active duty and the remaining 13 in the Reserves. My question: Do I qualify for the Post 911 GI Bill since I was actively participating in the Reserve program. I have been told that my annual training days do not count. What about my Inactive Duty Training (IDT) training days over the course of 7 years? Any help would be appreciated.

A: If you retired in 2008 and spent 13 years in the Reserves, that puts your active duty time back to 1995 and before which means your active duty time does not fall in the “magic” date of after September 10, 2001 for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

As far as your Reserve time after that date, it would not count either unless it was Title 10 time. If you deployed on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation, such as Iraq or Afghanistan, for 90-days or more after September 10, 2001, then that time would apply to your Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility.

A typical one-year deployment would put you at the 60% tier meaning the VA would pay 60% of your tuition and eligible fees along with paying you 60% of your authorized housing allowance amount. Effective August 1st, your housing allowance will be determined by the zip code of your school and how many credits you are taking compared to how many credits your school considers to be full-time. You would also get 60% of the book stipend, up to a maximum of $600 per year (60% of the $1,000 annual cap).

If you never deployed as described above, then all you have is the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD) (if you opted for it when you first went in). You also had the MGIB-SR, but that expired 10 years from your date of eligibility for it. Your MGIB-AD will expire in 2018, 10 years from your date of discharge from the Reserves.

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