Knowing your Benefits

Post-9/11 GI Bill

If you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged Veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible for this VA-administered program. NOTE: If you have eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and any other GI Bill program you must make an irrevocable election of the Post-9/11 GI Bill before you can receive any benefits. For approved programs, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits.

 The following payments may also be available:

*Monthly housing allowance

*Annual books and supplies stipend

*One-time rural benefit payment

Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available to those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. There are two main programs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

                The MGIB-AD program—sometimes known as Chapter 30—provides education benefits to Veterans and Service members who have at least two years of active duty. Eligible Service members may receive up to 36 months of education benefits. The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, any college fund eligibility, and if you contributed to the $600 buy-up program. You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be fewer or more years depending on the situation. 

You may be an eligible if you have an honorable discharge; AND you have a high school diploma or GED or in some cases 12 hours of college credit; AND you meet the requirements of one of the categories below:

CATEGORY I

Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985

Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months

Continuously served for three years or two years, if that is what you first enlisted for or if you entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served four years (the 2 by 4 program)

CATEGORY II

Entered active duty before January 1, 1977

Served at least one day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88, (or through 6/30/87 if you entered the Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty and served four years)

On 12/31/89, you had entitlement left from Vietnam-era GI Bill

CATEGORY III

Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II

On active duty on 9/30/90 AND separated involuntarily after 2/2/91

OR involuntarily separated on or after 11/30/93

OR voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program

Before separation, you had military pay reduced by $1,200

CATEGORY IV

On active duty on 10/9/96 AND you had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date AND you elected MGIB by 10/9/97

OR you entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between 7/1/85, and 11/28/89, AND you elected MGIB during the period 10/9/96 - 7/08/97

Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1,200 lump-sum contribution

  • Montgomery GI Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

                  MGIB-SR program provides education and training benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserve, including the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components and VA makes the payments. 

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after Sept. 30, 1990.

Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT).

Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement.

Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit. You will also retain MGIB-SR eligibility if you were discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct. Your eligibility period may be extended if you are ordered to active duty.