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If I Convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with MGIB Months Left, Will I Get the Extra New GI Bill Months?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am currently using my Chapter 30 benefits and have 14 months of benefits remaining. My 10 years will be up in Oct 2013. I am starting law school this fall but will run out of time before I can use up the remaining 14 months of benefits. I know I can convert to Chapter 33 once my Chapter 30 benefits are exhausted for an additional 12 months but I will not be able to exhaust those 14 months prior to my 10 year window. So my question is if I transfer to Chapter 33 after my 10 years is up, will I only get the remaining months of entitlement left on Chapter 30 or will I receive the full 12 months. Thanks.

A: Generally speaking, you will only get the same number of months remaining on your Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). However, even if you do not get the additional 12 months, there would be two advantages to convert. First, you would extend out your delimitation date by an additional 5 years, making your ending date in 2018 instead of 2013. Second, you would most likely enjoy a higher pay rate from the Post 9/11 GI Bill for your remaining 14 months.

Right now, you get a maximum of $1,473 per month under the MGIB and you have to pay all your own education expenses. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your tuition would be paid in full directly to your public school at the resident rate or up to $17,500 per year at a private school.

Monthly you would get a housing allowance that averages $1,300 across the United States. Depending on where you school is located, your actual amount could be more or less. Also, each semester, you would get up to $41.67 per credit in book stipend money, up to the $1,000 per year limit, which is enough for two 12-credit semesters per year. So as you can see, between your housing allowance and book stipend, you would actually make more that you are under the MGIB and your tuition is already paid – something that you have to pay when using the MGIB.

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