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Which GI Bill Will Provide Me with the Most Benefits?

Q: I have some questions concerning my GI Bill. I want to know which one will provide the most benefits, but I have several issues that make the situation confusing. I enlisted in the National Guard in 2003, served in Iraq from December 2005 – June 2006. Currently, I am in the Utah National Guard working under long term ADOS orders, and have been for the past three years. I’m wondering, does my ADOS time count towards eligibility? Can I draw housing stipend too? Can I give some benefit to my wife? I’m planning on doing American Military University. Please help!

A: O.K., let’s address one issue at a time. From your National Guard service in 2003 you most likely had the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). That GI Bill was good only as long as you were in the Guard. Once discharged, the education benefits associated with it expired.

With that said, your 6-month deployment to Iraq, while you were in the Guard, earned you 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits payable at the 50% level, if you were on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation for the whole time. If you were on any other type of order, the time doesn’t count.

As far as your ADOS order, I doubt if it is a Title 10 order; most likely it is from Title 32, which at this point in time it does not count toward GI Bill eligibility. If it is a Title 10 order, then your three years of ADOS would get you to the 100% level for the New GI Bill.

You best bet will be the Post 9/11 GI Bill at the 50% level. Yes, you can transfer any or all of your education entitlements to your wife; just know it will pay her at the same percentage as it would you, if you were going to school – 50%.

If you choose to go to school using the New GI Bill, then the VA would pay your tuition and fees up to 50% of the in-state maximum and you would get 50% of the housing allowance and 50% of the book stipend.

If you are taking online-only classes through AMU, then you would not get the housing allowance as that feature of the Post 9/11 GI Bill is not authorized for online-only students. Everything would be the same for your wife, if she uses her transferred benefits.

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