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Is It Really Possible to Get an Additional 12 Months of Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Q: I have read (and heard) about using up the 36 months of MGIB and then getting an additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill. Is this possible? I served from 1988-2008 and am completing my Bachelor’s degree within the next year and have six months left of my MGIB. Thank you for your time.

A: It is possible and many veterans are taking advantage of it. What you heard is correct, but you have to do it the right way to get the additional year of benefits.

If you were to switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill now, with six months of MGIB benefits left, then all you would get would be six months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and not the additional 12 months. However, if you first exhaust those six months (or at least select an election date that would be after you have used up your remaining six months) then you would get the additional year of benefits.

To make the switch now, go to the eBenefits website and select VA Form 22-1990. In Part II be sure to check Box 9F, enter an election date that is after you have used up your MGIB benefits and check the Chapter 30 block as the GI Bill you are giving up.

In return, you would get a Certificate of Eligibility that will show your additional 12 months of entitlement. If you are going to school at the time you switch, your certificate may show less than 12 months by the time you get it as the VA “loans” you benefits from your additional 1 year to get you to the end of the semester and to keep the pay coming to you. On your end, the switch from MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill should be seamless and transparent.

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