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With All My GI Bills, How Many Months of Benefit Do I Have Left?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Ron, I am a retired SFC. I first entered the service in 03/1968. After nine years active duty, I was honorably discharged and used my Vietnam GI Bill benefits to attend flight school.

I was in the National Guard on and off until I was activated in 03/2003 to 06/2006. How many months total training do I have available, under all the GI Bills I am eligible for? Vietnam, 1606, 1607, Reap, Veap, Montgomery and Post 9/11? I believe I used 30 months under the Vietnam Bill and 7 months under the REAP Bill.

A: The most you can receive under any GI Bill by itself is 36 months, however, under the Rule of 48, if you are eligible for two or more GI Bills, you can only receive a maximum combined education benefit of 48 months. So by my calculations, if you have already used 37 months, then your maximum amount left would be 11 months.

Out of all the GI Bills, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay you the most, but to use it, you will have to go to a degree-producing school, or take a trade, technical or other non degree-producing course, at degree-producing school.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you get a housing allowance based on the zip code of your school paid at the pay grade of an E-5 with dependents, along with up to $1,000 per year in a book stipend. The VA pays your tuition and fees directly to your school. To apply for benefits, send in VA Form 22-1990 through VONAPP.

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