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If I’m Eligible for Both GI Bills, How Do I Change to Chapter 33?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have about nine months left on my Chapter 30 GI Bill. Do I qualify for Chapter 33? Should I change over to Chapter 33 or can I get Chapter 33 after my Chapter 30 runs out? I retired from Army active duty Oct 06.

A: If you got out in 2006, yes you do qualify at the 100% tier for the Post 9/11 GI Bill or Chapter 33. If you play your cards right, you can get an additional 12 months of education benefits. Here’s how.

First, exhaust your Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Once they are used up, then apply to switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill by using the VONAPP Website.

If you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill before exhausting your Chapter 30 benefits, then you will only get the same number of months you had left on your Chapter 30. But, by using up your Chapter 30 first, and then switching, you get the additional 12 months. Crazy huh? It is called the Rule of 48, where if you qualify for two GI Bills, you can get up to 48 months of combined benefits.

Many veterans miss out on the additional 12 months because they don’t know about the Rule of 48 and how it works. Good luck!

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