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Under the Rule of 48, How Do I Get My Additional 12 Months of Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I currently have about 10 months left on my Post 9/11 GI Bill in education benefits. I do qualify under the Rule of 48 and I’m curious how do I go about requesting an additional 12 months of benefits? Is there any for sure way of knowing that my request will get approved?

A: Most likely your request would not be approved. Right now, the way to get those additional 12 months of benefits is to first use up your Montgomery GI Bill benefits, switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and then you would get the additional 1 year of benefits.

If you only had the Post 9/11 GI Bill to begin with, then you would be limited to just 36 months (as you would normally get with having only one GI Bill anyway) and not get the additional time. If you had the Montgomery GI Bill and had already switched, then you would get the same number of months under the Post 9/11 GI Bill as you had under the Montgomery GI Bill before you switched and not the additional time.

Unfortunately, once you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you waived your rights to your old Montgomery GI Bill, so you can’t switch back.
However, if you are fortunate enough to have a third GI Bill, you could get up to 12 additional months under that one.

Some Reservists and National Guardsman having prior active duty time, and having been deployed since being in the SEL RES, can have up to three GI Bills – the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty(MGIB-AD), Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) and the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

In that case, the smart way to use those benefits would have been to “give up” the 36 months of MGIB-SR benefits (because it pays less) and transfer them to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Once your Post 9/11 GI Bill was used up, the switch to the MGIB-AD and get your additional 12 months of benefits for your total of 48 months.

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