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Eligibility to Receive Montgomery GI Bill Benefits

GENERAL INFORMATION

For more complete and up to date information please visit the real GI Bill website at http://www.gibill.va.gov/.

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB, or Chapter 30 of Title 38, U. S. Code) is an educational assistance program enacted by Congress to attract high quality men and women into the Armed Forces. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the program. The MGIB provides education and training opportunities to eligible persons.

This website provides a general description of the education benefits and program eligibility. Caution: DO NOT rely on this website to determine if you’re eligible for education benefits. To receive a formal decision from VA, you must file a claim for benefits.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?

As an AFROTC graduate and commissioned officer, you may be eligible to receive MGIB benefits while you’re on active duty or after you're separated from active duty. Below is a summary of the eligibility requirements. The requirements are complex. To simplify, they are grouped them into four categories. You must establish eligibility under one of these four categories. NOTE: Air Force ROTC cadets who commission and enter active duty after 1 Oct 96 are eligible to participate in the MGIB if they received $3,400 or less in tuition, fees and books during any year of eligibility. In addition, an individual who declines any portion of his/her scholarship during the last semester in AFROTC and thereby receives $3,400 or less in total scholarship assistance during the final year of eligibility in AFROTC remains eligible for MGIB.

Requirement for all categories. You must meet the following requirement, no matter which category your eligibility falls under. Character of discharge. To use MGIB after you're separated from active duty, your discharge must be fully honorable. Discharges "under honorable conditions" and "general" discharges do not establish eligibility for MGIB.

In addition to the requirements above, you must meet requirements from one of the four categories below. (If you entered active duty before July 1, 1985, skip Category 1. You may only qualify under Categories 2, 3, or 4.) In general, most AFROTC cadets will qualify under Category 1 (as long as they have received less than $3,400 in tuition, fees, and books during any years of eligibility).

CATEGORY 1:
  • 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 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served 4 years ("2 by 4" Program)
CATEGORY 2:
  • Entered active duty before January 1, 1977
  • Served at least 1 day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88, (or 6/30/87 if you entered Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years)
  • On 12/31/89, you had entitlement left from Vietnam Era GI Bill
CATEGORY 3:
  • 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 $1200
CATEGORY 4:

There are two opportunities for certain individuals to participate in VEAP to MGIB conversion windows:
  • First:
    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 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, through 7/8/97

    Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1200 lump-sum contribution
  • Second:
    On continuous active duty between 10/9/96 and 4/1/00 AND you had money in a VEAP account anytime prior to 4/1/87 AND you elected MGIB by 10/31/01

    Had military pay reduced by $150 a month for 18 months, OR made a $2700 lump-sum contribution within 18 months of the election.
HOW MUCH DOES MGIB PAY?

The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, and your category, among other things. You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be less, in some cases, and longer under certain circumstances.
Benefit Rate Tables

WHAT CAN I USE MY MGIB FOR?

The MGIB provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for:
  • College, Business
  • Technical or Vocational Courses
  • Correspondence Courses
  • Apprenticeship/Job Training
  • Flight Training
HOW TO APPLY

You can apply by filling out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Call toll free 1-888-GI-BILL-1