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How Do I Expend My Remaining MGIB So I Can Get the Additonal 12 Months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: What if I have already completed my BS, and have a few days remaining on my Chapter 30? I would like to use the 12 extra months on the Post 9/11 GI Bill for an apprenticeship program. Any advice on exhausting the remaining benefits in this situation?

A: My advice is to start your apprenticeship program using your remaining days of your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) entitlement. Then switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill to use the additional 12 months to complete as much of your apprenticeship as possible.

If you would switch over now, current stated VA policy dictates that all you would get is same number of days under the New GI Bill as you had left unused under the old GI Bill. So you could only expect to get the few remaining MGIB days by converting. But by using up those few days first, you would get the additional time.

The apprenticeship payment programs do vary depending on which GI Bill you use. Under the MGIB you would get $1,236 per month for the first 6 months, $906.40 per month for the second 6 months and $576.80 per month for the remainder of your program.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your payment would be the monthly housing allowance:
• 100% – 1st 6 months
• 80% – 2nd 6 months
• 60% – 3rd 6 months
• 40% – 4th 6 months
• 20% – each month for the remaining months of the program

But because you only have a few days left under the old GI Bill, you your first month would be the prorated amount of $1,236. Then you would switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and instead get the MHA at the appropriate percentages for the next 12 months until your entitlement ends.

The only catch is that some apprenticeship programs may be approved for one GI Bill or the other and maybe not both. Be sure your program is approved for both GI Bills.

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