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Can You Explain Why My Husband Was Denied His MGIB Benefits Now That He Is Back in School?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: my husband was in the IA National Guard from 1999-2005 with a 1-year deployment to Afghanistan (2004-2005). He used some of the MGIB while still in. He is now back in school and was denied MGIB benefits, can you explain why?

A: The first thing you have to know is that there are two “MGIB”s. It is unfortunate that both share the same name (because they have some radical differences) as it causes all kinds of confusion as it has evidently done due to your question.

When the active duty service member signs up for the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD), s/he can get up to 36 months of benefits that the service member can use while either still on active duty or up to 10 years from his/her date of discharge.

The Reserve or National Guard member automatically gets the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) by enlisting in a Reserve Component for six years. And while they also get up to 36 months of GI Bill benefits, the benefits automatically expire upon discharge or with 10 years of service.

So in your husband’s case, because he was in for less than 10 years, his “MGIB” benefits expired in 2005 when he got out. However, all may not be lost.

Due to his one-year deployment to Afghanistan, he would qualify for some benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. A twelve-month deployment on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation (such as Afghanistan) would get him to the 60% tier of the New GI Bill. As far as the number of months he would receive, it would be whatever months he had left from his MGIB-SR even though that GI Bill has expired.

So what he needs to do is to submit a new VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website, but this time check block 9A in Part II. Also in Part II, he should check block 9f and the Chapter 1606 box.

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