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Is It Possible to Have Two Post 9-11 GI Bills and Use Them Back to Back?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is it possible to have two Post 9-11 GI Bills? And use them back to back?

A: Yes it is possible to have two GI Bills, but not both of them Post 9/11 GI Bills. Heck it is possible to have three! If when you first enlisted, signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill and paid your $1,200 contribution fee, you secured your Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD) when you completed your first term of service honorably. If that term of service was after September 10, 2001, you also were eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

If you would have gotten out of the active military after serving your term of service and then enlisted for six years into the National Guard or the Reserves of one of the service branches, you would have also received the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). Note that you can only use this GI Bill as long as you remain a member of the Selected Reserve. Once you are out, your MGIB-SR benefits expire (as they also do if you stay in the Selected Reserve in excess of ten years.

However, if you have two or more GI Bills, the maximum number of combined months of entitlement that you can have is capped at 48 months by the VA’s Rule of 48.

But to get that 48 months you have to use your GI Bills intelligently. With most GI Bills individually, you get 36 months of eligibility. So if you have both the MGIB-AD and Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can use up your MGIB-AD benefits first, switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get your additional 12 months of benefits.

However, if you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with MGIB-AD or MGIB-SR entitlement left, then all you get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill is that same number of months and not the additional 12 months.

So to answer your question, yes you can use them back to back, but to get your full 48 months, you must exhaust one before using the other.

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