Veterans Administration Educational Programs
What is the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)?
The MGIB program is an educational benefit administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible individuals. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.
If I join the Commissioned Corps, why would I want to participate in the MGIB if I already have an undergraduate and graduate degree?
The reasons for participating may include the following:
- The cost of participating in the MGIB is only $1,200 (usually $100 is deducted monthly from your paycheck for 12 months.)
- You may wish to pursue a second undergraduate or graduate degree or you may wish to enhance your current skills
- You have up to 10 years after you terminate from active duty in which to use your educational benefits. These can be used for education courses through institutions of higher learning or training courses through vocational programs approved for veteran training.
When can I start using my educational benefits?
You may begin using your educational benefits after completing 24 months of continuous active duty in a uniformed service.
How do I find out if a particular program is approved?
The easiest way is to call the school offering the training and ask to speak with the person who handles veterans' certifications. You may also call 888–GI–BILL–1 and speak with a representative.
How much does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pay?
Under current laws, VA education benefit payments are based on both the rate of training (such as full-time, 3/4 time, ½ time) and on the length of your training. If you serve in a uniformed service for less than 3 years, you are eligible for $528 per month for full-time training (a total of $19,008 for a $1,200 investment). If you serve 3 years or more, you are eligible for $650 per month for full-time training (a total of $23,400 for a $1,200 investment). In addition, recent legislation allows an active-duty member to contribute an additional $600, which will result in greater benefits. More information about this will be forthcoming.
How can I apply?
You may apply by completing VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Applications may be obtained from your school or from any VA regional office. For further information, call 888–GI–BILL–1 and talk with a VA representative.
If I don't use my educational entitlement, may I transfer it to a dependent?
No. The MGIB is nontransferable to dependents.
I elected to participate in the MGIB program but I am also serving on a limited tour of duty. No money has been withheld from my pay. Is something wrong?
Nothing is wrong. The withholdings of officers called to active duty on a license- or medical-limited tour are suspended until the limitation is lifted, usually within 1 year. This is done to avoid the loss of MGIB contributions, which are nonrefundable. While most officers called to active duty on limited tours have their limitations lifted, occasionally an officer will fail to obtain a license or meet the medical requirement and is subsequently separated. When the limitation is lifted, a personnel order is issued indicating that the officer is enrolled in MGIB effective the date that he/she was called to active duty and the withholdings begin automatically.
I originally enrolled in the Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) but I understand that I can now enroll in the MGIB program. How do I do that?
Officers who are enrolled in VEAP may enroll in MGIB if they:
- Enrolled in VEAP on or before October 9, 1996
- Served continuously on active duty from October 9, 1996, through April 1, 2000
- Make a non-refundable payment of $2,700
- Made an irrevocable election to enroll in MGIB by October 31, 2001.
The Office of Commissioned Corps Operations (OCCO) will be contacting officers enrolled in VEAP to provide them with the necessary forms and instructions. Officers who enrolled in VEAP while serving on active duty in one of the other uniformed services will have to contact the Division of Commissioned Corps Officer Support (DCCOS), OCCO, at 240–453–6034 or 877–463–6327 and select OSB to make sure that they receive the enrollment information.
What if I have money remaining in my VEAP account?
You must apply for a refund of your remaining contributions by completing VA Form 5281, Application for Refund of Educational Contributions. This form may be obtained from the Division of Commissioned Corps Officer Support (DCCOS) by calling 877–463–6327 or 240–453–6034 or your local Veterans Administration regional office.
I originally came on active duty during the Vietnam era. Do I have any educational benefits?
You may be eligible for the MGIB if you:
- Had remaining entitlement under the Vietnam-era GI Bill on December 31, 1989
- Served on active duty for any number of days during the period between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985
- Continued to serve on active duty without a break from July 1, 1985, through June 30, 1988.
For further information, contact the Veterans Program Coordinator at 240–453–6034 or 877–463–6327 and listen to the prompts.
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