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Will a Reduction In Force Nullify My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: There is a possibility that the Air Force may have a force-shaping board (Reduction in Force) in 2014? If this occurs and an active duty member is not able to complete the last year of the 4-year service commitment, will they lose their Post 9/11 GI Bill? If so, do they also lose the original MGIB funding as well?

A: Reduction in Forces (RIFs) can be tricky as some have an effect on GI Bill benefits and some do not – it depends on how each one is written. However with that said, I think there is a good chance that you would come out with all of your GI Bill benefits intact and here is why.

While you may not be able to complete the last year of your four-year enlistment commitment, you would have served a full three years, which is all that is required to get to the 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier level. At that level, then your tuition is paid in full, if you attend a public school in your state where you have residency, or paid up to $19,198.31 per year if you attend a private school. In addition, you would also get the monthly housing allowance and book stipend.

I would think your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) funding would be preserved as well as that GI Bill also only requires three years of service to get full funding, which right now it is paying up to $1,648 per month, but you are required to pay your own tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses.

As an option to think about if you are only going for a four-year degree, you might want to consider switching over from the MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill to get the increased funding for your 36 months of benefits. Also, you would get your $1,200 MGIB contribution fee back when you use up the last month of your Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Of course, if you plan to get an advanced degree, then you might want to exhaust your MGIB first, switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get the additional 12 months of entitlement that you could use toward your next degree.

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