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With the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Can I Get Back My $1,200 MGIB Contribution?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am in the process of applying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and am planning on letting my daughter utilize a portion of my benefits. I have 6 years active, 2 yrs EAD, and 18 months involuntary since 9/11, for a total of 23 yrs total combined service and still drilling. My question is, I paid $1,200.00 into the Montgomery GI Bill back when I was on my first tour of active duty in 8/86 and was wondering, since I haven’t utilized any benefits yet if the $1,200.00 can be returned to me? Back in the day, $100.00 a month was a lot of money. Thanks

A: To answer your question, I’m not sure. I do know the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules read that when the veteran has the Montgomery GI Bill and switches to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, he/she gets back their $1,200 once all the Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements are exhausted. The $1,200 comes as part of the last housing allowance check. It also goes on to say the VA can’t ignore the statute if the individual is not receiving a housing allowance.

However, the part that concerns me is your MGIB expired years ago and the regulation does not specifically address that part. I know the VA factors in entitlements used from an expired MGIB when they figure out combined benefits of 48 months, but whether they factor in your expired MGIB in this situation, I don’t know.

The regulation is somewhat convoluted (as most of them are) and I ask that you contact the VA for their determination in this situation.

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