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

Q: I currently have the Montgomery GI Bill but I am looking to switch it over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I qualify for the switch and I am wondering how to do so?

A: Doing so is easy – just go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990, but please read the rest of this post before doing so because once you switch, you can’t go back.

If you have both the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill, there are two ways you can use both GI Bills. The first way is to use your MGIB benefits to exhaustion and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Once switched, you would get an additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits.

Or, you could switch with all your MGIB months of benefits intact and not get the additional months of benefits, but you would then be able to use your benefits at the higher pay structure.

Also, by switching with all 36 months of benefits intact and once you have used up your 36 months of Post 9/11 GI bill benefits, you would get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back. It would come as part of your last housing allowance payment.

So, it comes down to if you want more months of benefits (especially if you are looking at getting an advanced degree) or getting a four-year degree and getting paid more in the process.

Under the MGIB, you would get $1,473 per month as a full-time student and you have to pay your own tuition, fees, books, etc. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays your tuition and fees, you get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend once each semester for two semesters per year. Your housing allowance is usually almost or more that what you get from the MGIB by itself.

Just a word of caution – if you are at the Post 9/11 GI Bill 60% tier or less, you may be better off staying with the MGIB.

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