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Can I Convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Keep My Remaining 19 Months of Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have 19 months left on my MGIB and it is scheduled to expire (10 years) in 2 weeks. I have not had an opportunity to use the rest of it. I am also eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill. I assume that I can convert to the Post 9/11 and keep my 19 months (for another 5 years). Is there any way to let the MGIB “expire” and then start the Post 9/11…say the next day and get 19 months + 12 months? Thanks for your advice.

A: Yes you can convert your present 19 months of Montgomery GI Bill entitlement that is set to expire over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get an additional 5 years to use your remaining benefits.

The way to do it is to go over to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. In Part II, be sure to put a check in Block 9f as the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the one you want to go to, put an effective date on the line, and check the Chapter 30 box as the GI Bill you are giving up.

According to official VA policy, all you would get is the 19 months you have left and not the additional 12 months of benefits, however, I have heard from some veterans that when they converted to the Post 9/11 GI Bill after their MGIB had expired, they not only got their remaining MGIB months, but also the additional 12 months.

So in light of that, I would let your MGIB expire and then switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. You have nothing to lose by doing so and everything to gain.

If all you get is your 19 months, then oh well. That is all you would have received if you would have converted before your GI Bill expired. If you end up getting 31 months all the better!

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