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Do I Qualify for Full Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am a reservist that has served 2 one-year deployments, on top of my initial training. I was told that I now rate full benefits from the GI Bill. Is this true?

A: I don’t think it is true and here is why. To qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you have to serve on active duty for three years after September 10, 2001 and your initial training (Basic and AIT) does not count towards eligibility. With 24 months of deployment, you should be at the 70% tier, which would still pay far better than the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve, currently at a paltry $333 per month. One more 1-year deployment should put you at the 100% level.

If you decide to go to school, the VA would pay up to 70% of the in-state maximum for your tuition and fees and you would get 70% of both the housing allowance and book stipend, which ends up being a good deal for you when compared to the MGIB-SR.

Also, you would not qualify for the transfer option where you could transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement to dependents. That comes after you have at least six years on active duty and agree to sign up for an additional four years.

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