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Can My Son Get His Post 9/11 GI Bill Contribution Money Back?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Our son joined the Army and left for BCT at Ft. Jackson on September 1, 2009. He completed BCT and the AIT courses but was not able to pass the PT Test to graduate from AIT due to a stress fracture. He was chaptered out and discharged on April 29, 2010. While in the Army there was a deduction out of his pay for the Post 9/11 Education money. Is he entitled to receive what was withheld from his paychecks? If so, what does he need to do to have this sum sent to him? He intends to re-enlist as soon as possible and he does want to go to school but intends to take some on-line classes while in and then possibly go to school after he gets out. Thank you.

A: If your son agreed to the $100 per month GI Bill contribution, it was for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and not the Post 9/11 GI Bill, as the Post 9/11 doesn’t have a contribution requirement. As far as your son getting any of his contribution money back, no. The only way to get any of the contribution back is to switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and use up all of the education benefits. Then with the last housing allowance check, a proportional amount will be refunded. But if he doesn’t finish paying the whole $1,200, I doubt if he would get anything back.

Right now, you son does not have any GI Bill eligibility due to the fact that training time doesn’t count toward eligibility, however once he goes back in and graduates from IADT, his eligibility will start.

While on active duty, if your son wants to go to school, he should use Tuition Assistance. It doesn’t cost him anything as long as he stays at or below the $250 per credit hour tuition rate. There is a yearly cap of $4,500, but at $250 per credit, he could take 18 credits per year of college at basically no cost to himself.

Depending on what your son wants to do with his education, it may be more financially beneficial for him to switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The Post 9/11 GI Bill focuses on paying for degree-producing courses, but generally won’t pay for non-degree training programs, such as trade, technical, license or certification courses.

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