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Can I Still Transfer to the Post 9/11 GI Bill If I Still Have Montgomery GI Bill Benefits Left to Use?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: So if I’m using my Montgomery GI Bill already but I haven’t use 36 months of it yet, can I transfer to Post 9/11 GI Bill once I get out from Active Duty? — Christie

A: Hi Christie. To answer your question, yes, you can transfer to the Post 9/11 GI Bill once you are off active duty or before you get out if you want. Just know that if you switch with unused Montgomery GI Bill entitlement left, you would only get the same number of months of entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill as you had left under the Montgomery GI Bill.

However, if you need more than 36 months of entitlement, as you would if you plan on pursuing an advanced degree, there is a way to get additional months of entitlement. If you decide to switch GI Bills after you use up all of your MGIB benefits, you can get an additional 12 months of entitlement.

Also, if you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with MGIB entitlement left, you can get a prorated amount of your $1,200 MGIB contribution back. It would come as part of your last Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance payment.

I don’t know how much you know about the Post 9/11 GI Bill compared to what you are getting under the MGIB. If you are using your MGIB while on active duty, you are most likely using it as part of the Tuition Top-Up program. If you were out, you would be getting up to $1,648 per month to go to school full-time, but you have to pay all of your education expenses.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your tuition would be paid directly to your school by the VA and depending on where you go to school you could get almost as much as you are making under the MGIB in Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance. In addition, you would also get a book stipend that can be up to $1,000 per year.

You would have to do the math, and in the end decide if you want to switch or not, but at least you have more information to factor into your decision.

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