There are two GI Bills that a veteran may be entitled to.
The available benefits with each GI Bill are very different. If you’re eligible for both the MGIB and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, chances are you’ve already been required to decide which one you would like to receive. A veteran is only able to CHOOSE ONE.
The primary factor in determining which GI bill is available to you is whether you served pre or post 9/11/2001. Those who were already serving before 9/11 and continued to serve after are those who have their pick of either benefit. Each GI Bill also has its own eligibility requirements and education and training that it can be used for. We’re going to cover the eligibility requirements and benefits of the Montgomery GI Bill first, then cover the requirements and benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Additionally, once you are approved for benefits, in order to begin using them, you’ll need to use the VA’s Web Automated Verification of Eligibility (WAVE) every single month that you want to receive a payment. Going through WAVE only takes a few minutes, but you’ll need to do it every month in order to receive a check. You will not receive a check for that month until you have gone through WAVE.
Now it is clear that the Montgomery GI Bill is more flexible of the two GI Bill options. You can use the MGIB for traditional colleges and universities, but you can also use it for technical and vocational courses and programs, as well as distance learning, professional certifications, and apprenticeships or job training.
Different from the MGIB, the Post-9/11 GI Bill does not require any sort of buy-in or payment during the first year of service. Veterans and active servicemembers are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill if they have put in 90 days of active duty after September 10, 2001. This is the case for those in the active military, and also includes any time spent on an order to active duty from the National Guard or the Reserves. Also, time spent by National Guard members organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard, or responding to a national emergency counts towards the Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility requirements.
In addition to eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill in general, there are specific benefits inside the Bill that you may or may not be eligible for depending on your current status. There are 7 ‘pieces’ of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and your eligibility for the individual pieces will depend on whether you’re active duty, an eligible Guard or Selected Reserve member, or a veteran.
If you’re having a hard time choosing, this guide is the perfect place for you to be. We will discuss Eligibility Requirements, Benefits and Advantages, and the process for applications.