If I Run Out of Montgomery GI Bill Benefits Mid-Semester, Can I Switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill Then?
Q: I have 2 months and 4 days left of my Chapter 30 GI Bill, so that means that it will end in the middle of the fall semester. Will I continue to get the Chapter 30 benefits until the end of the semester or middle of the semester? If it doesn’t continue until the end of the semester, can I just switch over right away to the Post 9/11 GI Bill? Because I know I would get 12 additional months of Post 9/11 benefits once I exhaust my Chapter 30. Oh and my delimiting date is up in 2017, so I have plenty of time for that.
A: If that was the only GI Bill you had, yes your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefit would continue to the end of the semester. The VA would not leave you hanging with no benefits mid-semester, unless you reached your delimitation date mid-term. Then it has no other option but to cut benefits the day after they run out. That is mandated by law. But if you still have time left on your MGIB, but run out of entitlement, then they will continue paying you to the end of that semester.
Because you also have the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your situation would be handled a little differently. Once you run out of MGIB benefits, the VA will start drawing off of your Post 9/11 GI Bill.
If you want to continue using your GI Bill benefits, then you’ll want to switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill by submitting VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website. In Part II block 9f mark the Chapter 33 block and put in an effective date after you are sure you will be out of MGIB benefits. Also mark the Chapter 30 block as the GI Bill you are giving up even though it has no education benefits left to use.
When you get your new Certificate of Eligibility, it will show you have less than 12 months left to use because the VA deducted the time from when you ran out of MGIB until the end of the semester.
And don’t try to game the system by waiting until the end of the semester to switch over to the New GI Bill thinking you’ll get those last two months free – you won’t, they will still be deducted from your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.