The Montgomery GI Bill® program (MGIB) provides up to 36 months of education benefits. 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. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30.
Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
The Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible Veterans for:
- Technical or Vocational Courses
- Correspondence Courses
- Apprenticeship/Job Training
- Flight Training
- High-tech Training
- Licensing & Certification Tests
- Entrepreneurship Training
- Certain Entrance Examinations
$600 Buy-up Program
Some servicemembers may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5400 in additional GI Bill benefits. The additional contribution must be made while on active duty. For more information contact your personnel or payroll office.
Who is eligible?
You may be an eligible Veteran 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 must meet ALL requirements of one of the categories below:
- 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 the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served 4 years (“2 by 4” Program)
- 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 the 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
- 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
- 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
*When in doubt, check with the VA on final approval on qualifications.
How much does VA pay?
The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DOD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called “kickers”). 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.
How to apply
Go to the VA’s Veterans Application website to submit your application. You will need to create a login and password in order to complete this process.
You may be asked to provide some additional forms if you apply online. If you have access to a scanner, you can scan these forms and submit them online.
If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-442-4551 GIBill1) to ask for help.
You can submit a paper application called Form 22-1990. Once this is filled you need to mail it to:
VA Regional Processing Office
PO Box 8888
Once you have submitted your application either online or by mail, three things will happen:
- The Regional Processing Office will process the application and determine your eligibility. If you are certain of your eligibility, do not delay in enrolling in classes;
- You will then need to contact the certifying official at your school to have your enrollment certified with the VA;
- Your monthly benefit payment will come directly to you.
Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes 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.
You may use this education assistance program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances.
Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. VA makes the payments for this program.
You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits.
Your eligibility for the program normally ends on the day you leave the Selected Reserve.
One exception to this rule exists if you are mobilized (or recalled to active duty from your reserve status); in this case, your eligibility may be extended for the amount of time you are mobilized PLUS four months. For example, if you are mobilized for 12 months your eligibility period is extended for 16 months (12 months active duty PLUS 4 months.) So even if you leave the reserves after mobilization, you may have additional eligibility to the MGIB-SR.
Who is Eligible?
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 September 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.
How to apply
Your unit will give you a DD Form 2384-1, Notice of Basic Eligibility, when you become eligible for the program. Your unit will also code your eligibility into the Department of Defense personnel system so that VA may verify your eligibility.
You should then make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. If you are not clear on this point, VA will inform you and the school or company about the requirements.
Obtain and complete VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Send it to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the state where you will train.
If you have started training, take your application and your Notice of Basic Eligibility to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, (not available online) Enrollment Certification, and send all the forms to VA.