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Can I Still Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill If I Declined the Montgomery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was active duty Air Force for 4 years and got out with an honorable discharge. I was dumb and did not sign up for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) while I was in. Can I qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill or does not taking the MGIB automatically disqualify me from ever getting the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

A: No, not taking the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) does not in any way exclude you from qualifying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (40%) are free just from your service of at least 90 days on a Title 10 order after September 10, 2001. Being you served for 4 years, you are at the 100% tier.

When you decide to start using it, just go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. In return, you will get your Certificate of Eligibility that will show you which GI Bill you have (the Post 9/11 GI Bill), how many months of eligibility (36) and the expiration date (15 years from your date of discharge).

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the most generous GI Bill yet in the history of the GI Bill. Once enrolled in school, the VA will pay your tuition directly to your school, up to the resident rate. Monthly, you get a housing allowance based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking. Right now the monthly average is about $1,300. It runs less if you go to school in the Midwest, but is almost double if you go to school in New York City or LA. Once per semester, up to the $1,000 yearly limit, you would also get a book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit.

All-in-all, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is a great educational assistance program that you might as well use as your earned it from your service to your country.

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