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Is It Possible to Change My Post 9/11 GI Bill to the Montgomery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Dear sir/ma’am, I am enrolled in the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I plan to use it after I complete my 4 yrs. I had two questions in relation to this 1. Can I work full time and go to school full time simultaneously? Would I be eligible for BAH in this case? 2. Is it possible to change my Post 9/11 GI Bill to the Montgomery GI Bill? 3. If I only plan to use the GI Bill for myself and have no plans to use it for my wife or children, then which GI Bill is the best option? Thanks, regards.

A: To answer your first question, the VA does not care if you work and draw on your GI Bill, however, I caution you to do this as some students have trouble both working full-time, going to school full-time and trying to keep up good grades. Between attending classes (whether online or on campus), doing homework and working full-time, there is little time left for anything else, especially if you have a family.

As far as the housing stipend (or BAH as you call it, however BAH is different) if you are going to school full-time online and taking at least one class per semester on campus that pertains to your degree plan, then you would get the full housing stipend based on the zip code of your school and paid at the pay grade of an E-5 with dependents.

If you are going to school full-time, but all of your classes are online, then after October 1st, you would only get $673.50. Before that date, you would not get any housing stipend. That change came about as part of the GI Bill 2.0 legislation that passed last year.

You had asked about changing your Post 9/11 GI Bill to the Montgomery GI Bill. Changing to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is irrevocable, so if you took that route, then the answer is no.

If you have had the Post 9/11 GI Bill from the beginning, you would have to first make the $1,200 contribution and then submit VA Form 22-1990, but I’m not sure you would gain anything. With the changes coming up this fall due to the passage of the GI Bill 2.0, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will function more like the MGIB and in most cases it pays considerably more money.

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