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If I Switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Can I Switch Back to the Montgomery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have been approved for the Post 9/11 GI Bill but am still on active duty and have not begun to collect any money for schooling or the BAH. Is it possible for me to instead use the Montgomery GI Bill? I think it would better fit my needs.

A: If you choose to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill while still on active duty, you will not get the housing allowance. However the VA would pay your tuition directly to your school and you would get the book stipend.

Being you ask if you could use the Montgomery GI Bill instead, my question is “Did you sign up for the MGIB when you enlisted and pay the $1,200 contribution fee?” If so, you did have the MGIB, but the issue is you gave it up when you switched over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If all you have is the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then you can’t switch over to the MGIB if you had not signed up for it and paid the contribution fee.

Switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is an irrevocable action that normally can’t be undone. However having said that, I have heard in some cases where the individual that had not yet started drawing benefits, the VA would allow them to switch back.

I want to point out that this is not something that automatically happens by you requesting it. I would assume, you would have to provide a good reason for wanting to switch back. That is why in Block 9F of Part II of VA Form 22-1990 it says that you understand “My election is irrevocable and may not be changed.”

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