Montgomery GI Bill/Active Duty
The Montgomery G.I. Bill establishes a program of education benefits for essentially two groups or categories of individuals based on their active duty service. The benefits available to each may vary depending on their particular situation and length of active duty service. Explore the options by clicking each chioce in the list.
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty)
Individuals entering military service on or after July 1, 1985, have their basic military pay reduced by $100 a month for the first 12 months of their service, in order to be eligible for this educational assistance program. Individuals eligible for the Old G.I. Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989, who meet certain eligibility criteria may also be eligible but do not have their basic pay reduced. In most cases, eligibility expires 10 years after last discharge or release from active duty.
Persons separated from active duty because of service-connected disability, hardship discharge, pre-existing medical condition, or convenience of the government (reduction-in-force) may be eligible for Chapter 30 benefits without meeting the length of service requirements. In these cases, eligible persons would be entitled to one month of educational benefits for each month of military service.
Unlike most other VA educational assistance programs, in order to be eligible for Chapter 30, the veteran must have been released from active duty with the character of discharge specifically listed as ‘HONORABLE’. ‘Under honorable conditions,’ a ‘General’ discharge, or any other character of discharge automatically disqualifies the individual for this program, and he or she may not receive a refund of monies previously reduced from military pay for the Chapter 30 program.
Eligibility requirements for those with basic Chapter 34 (Old G.I. Bill) eligibility and who serve on active duty on or after July 1, 1985: Persons who were eligible to receive Chapter 34 benefits on December 31, 1989 and who have remaining Chapter 34 entitlement on that date may be eligible for Chapter 30 beginning January 1, 1990. In order to be eligible, specific criteria must be met. These include:
- The individual must have been on Active Duty sometime during the period of October 19, 1984 through June 30, 1985.
- The individual must have served without a break in service from that date through June 30, 1985.
- The individual must have served continuously on active duty from July 1, 1985 for three years. In lieu of this three-year requirement, the individual may qualify if he or she served two years of continuous active duty which was followed by four years in the Selected Reserve.
- If the individual completes the required period of active duty, he or she must be discharged with an ‘HONORABLE’ discharge.
Forms and Paperwork Required
The following documentation will be needed to start your Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill Education Benefits. VA Forms can be picked up at the EFSC Veterans Educational Benefits Office or downloaded from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs web site.
- VA Form 22-1990 Application for Initial Education Benefits
- VA Form 22-1995 Change of Program or Place of Training (form used if you have previously applied for Montgomery GI Bill Educational Benefits)
- DD 214 (Copy 4) Report of Military Separation / Discharge
- Prep Memo (see an academic advisor if you have to take developmental education preparatory classes)
- EFSC Class schedule
- Prior Credit Statement – this form will be given to you at the Veterans Educational Benefits Office to fill out
Active duty for 3 years, or 2 years active duty plus 4 years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard entitles an individual to $1473 a month basic benefits for 36 months or the equivalent in part-time training. If an individual’s initial obligated period of active duty is less than 3 years which is not followed by service in the Selected Reserve, the basic educational assistance benefit is $1196 monthly for 36 months (or the equivalent in part-time training). There is also a discretionary kicker of up to an additional $700 available to persons who have skills critical to the military (for example: Army College Fund, Navy Sea College Fund programs).
A supplemental benefit of up to an additional $300 with a discretionary kicker of up to $300 more is also available under certain circumstances. The kickers and discretionary supplemental assistance are added to the basic educational assistance for those persons completing additional periods of active duty and/or for those in special military occupations or skills. VA does not make determinations regarding kickers and supplemental allowances. Those determinations are made by the individual’s branch of military service, which determines the amount of kicker payable and notifies VA of that amount.
$600 Additional Contribution: If while on active duty a veteran makes a voluntary additional contribution of $600 towards the MGIB, their monthly GI Bill benefit is increased by $1 for each $4 contributed. If the full $600 was contributed, a veteran would have his/her monthly benefit increased by $150 for full time training, which over a full 36 months of entitlement would be a total return of $5400 on an investment of $600. The benefits payable to persons with the basic Chapter 34 (Old G.I. Bill) eligibility and who serve on active duty on or after July 1, 1985, will be one-half of the applicable Chapter 34 rate of educational assistance payable on December 31, 1989, including any additional allowance for dependents, plus the applicable Chapter 30 rates.
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