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Can I Use My GI Bill If I’m in a Federal Prison?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can federal prison inmates, with an Honorable Discharge from the US military, still receive the Montgomery GI Bill? If yes, what is the process to start receiving it? And how much will it be?

A: Currently the Montgomery GI Bill pays $1,368 per month for servicemembers putting in three years of more of active duty service. If you had less than three years, then the amount is $1,111 per month. As an inmate, you would receive less an an inmate.

To start your benefits, you would have to submit VA Form 22-1990 either through the VONAPP website or download the form and send it in according to the instructions.

When you say “still receive the Montgomery GI Bill”, I’m assuming you had signed up for it while you were on active duty and had the $1,200 contribution taken out? If so, then yes, you could use your GI Bill as an inmate in a federal prison.

However if you, or the veteran whom you received benefits from, is a “fugitive felon”, then your are not eligible to use your GI Bill. A person is considered a fugitive felon if he or she has an outstanding warrant for a felony, or has violated a condition of probation or parole for committing a felony.

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