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Will the Switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill Happen Automatically?

Q: I’m in the process of getting out of the Army and going to college full time. I enlisted in June of 2007 and have about 6 months until my ETS date. When I enlisted, the Post 9/11 GI bill wasn’t an option for school benefits so I was stuck with the MGIB. I have 12 months deployment time also if that changes anything. I guess my question would be is there anything I need to do to get it switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill or will it happen automatically?

A: It won’t happen “automatically”. When you get ready to go to school, you will have to submit VA Form 22-1990 from the VONAPP website to get your benefit payments started. Under the New GI Bill, the VA will pay your school directly for your tuition and fees up to the in-state maximum. You will get up to $1,000 per year in a book stipend. If you are a greater-than-half-time student and not taking all online classes, then you can get the housing allowance also.

Being you are on active duty already, your deployment doesn’t really play into anything. That would be an important factor though, if you were a Reservist with the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR).

With your three years plus of active duty, you have 36 months of entitlements at the 100% level. Also know that if you have not used any of your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits, when you switch from the MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and you exhaust all of your Post 9/11 GI Bill months of benefits, you will get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back. If you have used some of your MGIB and switch, you will get a portion of it back. The refund will come as part of your last housing allowance check.

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