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How Do I Switch From the Montgomery GI Bill to the New Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was wondering I’m on active duty and would like to switch from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. How do I go about completing this?

A: Switching from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 is easy; the hard part is determining if switching is in your best interest or not. It is important to figure this out before switching, because once you switch, you can’t go back.

To switch, just go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. In Part II, put a check beside Block 9A, mark Block 9F, enter an effective date when you would like your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to start, and check the Chapter 30 block.

After the GI Bill 2.0 update in 2011, both GI Bills almost cover the exact same training, so most likely that is not a factor. What can be a factor is the zip code of your school as that drives the Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance (MHA), along with the number of credits you take. If you happen to be in a low cost-of-living area, that can restrict your MHA.

The other factor which can impact which Bill you use is if you plan on taking all online courses or not. If so, then the most MHA you can get is $684 per month. If you can swing it, take one class per semester on campus as it can double your MHA. But, the VA would still pay your tuition directly to your school and you would still get up to $41.67 per credit per semester in book stipend money (up to the $1,000 per year cap)

For those same classes (online or on campus) under the MGIB, you would get $1,564 per month, but you would have to pay your own tuition, books, etc.

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