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Which GI Bill Will Provide Me with the Most Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

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.

2 responses on “Which GI Bill Will Provide Me with the Most Benefits?

I wanted to offer a brief correction to the previous statement, as I am in the exact same situation.
The percentages are correct.
However, you will NOT be eligible for BAH at ANY percentage.
I’ve just recieved clarification on this.
Your ADOS time does not count towards your GI Bill eligibility, even though congress recently passed that those on AGR orders will have that time added to their eligibility. ADOS is not included in that.
However they DO consider that you are on active duty when it comes time to decide if they will pay BAH or not. Indeed, THEN all of the suddedn you are on active duty.

I have already drafted my letter to congress to ask them to reconsider this. I hope it helps. My wife and I had made elaborate plans for her to go back to school based on some incorrect presumptions on our part. Didnt want you to face the same disappointment as us.

In addition, be sure you’re aware that the percentage that the GI Bil pays is NOT 50% of the tuition, but 50% of the BALANCE left over after scholarships and grants are applied. I think this is important to consider because if you plan on the GI BILL paying a flat 50%, you’ll be suprised by the fact that no matter how many grants and scholarships you get, if they dont equal 100% of the total bill, you will always have to pay 50% of whats left. Good luck to you and your wife.
PS, Ive recently had some great luck applying for a scolarship for my wife through Military Onesource thats called the MYCAA Military Spouse scholarship. Its up to $4000 per year and they DO consider ADOS as active duty 🙂

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