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How Do I Figure Out How Much My Montgomery GI Bill Will Pay?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I joined the Army National Guard in December of 2006 and I know I signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill. My question is how do I figure out how much I signed up for and where? The only record I have is my DD 214 but that doesn’t say anything. Hope to hear from someone soon.

A: First, we have to figure out which GI Bill you have. If you joined the National Guard, then you should have the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). However, because you said you have a DD 214, that leads me to believe that you had active duty time before joining the Guard. In that case, you most likely have the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD).

If you served at least three years on active duty, then you have 36 months of the MGIB-AD. If you did not have active duty time, then you have 36 months of the MGIB-SR. While both provide you 36 months of benefits, the payout amount of each is significantly different. With the MGIB-AD, you would get $1,473 per month to go to school. With the MGIB-SR, you would only get $345 per month in addition to your monthly drill pay.

However, if you served on active duty after September 10, 2001 or had a deployment on Title 10 orders that was in support of a contingency operation, such as Iraq or Afghanistan, then you would also qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and it pays significantly more.

But if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, you are limited to a combined total months of benefit of 48 under the VA’s Rule of 48. To get 48 months of benefits, you would have to use up the full 36 months under the Montgomery GI Bill and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you switch with months left under your Montgomery GI Bill, then you would only get the same number of months under the Post 9/11 GI Bill as you had left under the MGIB, but not the additional 12 months.

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