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Can My Friend Get an Additional 36 Months of Post 9/11 GI Bill Entitlement Instead?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My friend used 36 months of his MGIB-SR benefits in the mid 90’s. Since then he went active duty in the year 2000. He could have at any time made the $1,200.00 contribution payment to get another 36 months of the MGIB-AD, but has not. Can he get 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill instead?What if he paid the $1,200.00 contribution fee to get the MGIB-AD and then put in for the Post 9/11 GIB and asked for a refund of the $1,200.00 after the fact?

A: No your friend can’t get an additional 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Why? Under the Rule of 48, if a servicemember is eligible for two or more GI Bills, the maximum number of combined months of benefits is capped at 48. So because he has already used up 36 of those months, the most additional months of benefits that he could get would be 12.

And now onto your second question – if he had the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty and then switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with months of entitlement left, then he would get a prorated amount of his $1,200 contribution fee back once he used up the last of his converted benefit. His contribution fee payment would come as part of his last housing allowance payment.

How much he would get back is calculated by dividing his $1,200 MGIB contribution fee by 36 months and then multiplying that figure by the number of months he brought across.

So in the end, it was a wise choice not to “buy” into the Montgomery GI Bill – Active duty, because that additional 12 months of benefits would have cost him $1,200, where by converting to the Post 9/11 GI Bill cost him nothing for the additional months of benefits.

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