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What Are My Benefits As a Reservist with 8 Years of Active Duty and the $1200 MGIB Contribution?


Q: If I served 8 years on active duty, and then later signed up with the Reserves for 6 years, what are my education benefits as a reservist considering that I paid $1,200 for MGIB while on active duty prior.

A: It depends on when you served your 8 years and if you deployed as a reservist. Because you made the $1,200 contribution, you have or had the Montgomery GI Bill. It has a 10-year delimiting date calculated on your date of discharge, so depending on when you got it, it could have expired. If you got out less than 10 years ago, then it should still be good.

If you served three years on active duty after September 10, 2001, then you would also qualify for 100% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you did not qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill through your Title 10 active duty time, you still might qualify for partial benefits if you deployed on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation while in the Reserves. A one-year deployment puts you at the 60% tier, meaning the VA would pay up to 60% of your tuition, fees, book stipend and housing allowance.

Or you could have an amalgamation of Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility time you acquired with some time on active duty and additional time if you deployed while on a Title 10 order while in the Reserves.

Without more information, I can’t give you a more precise answer, however, I can offer this little-known tidbit. If you never used your Montgomery GI Bill benefit and you fully qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, once you switch from the MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and use up your Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements, you will get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back. It will be included with your last housing allowance payment.

Use up your MGIB months of entitlement and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill (if eligible) and you can get an additional 12 months of entitlement, but not any of your contribution back.


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