Cameron University's Office of Veteran Affairs advises that new information about the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was released earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The updated information may have a significant impact on individuals who are considering applying for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The most critical part of the newly released information applies to veterans who currently receive V.A. educational benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill Chapter 30 (MGIB-Ch30) program.
Veterans who exhaust their MGIB-Ch30 benefits before switching to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill may be eligible for additional months of entitlement. Veterans who have already exhausted their MGIB-Ch30 benefits but who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 may also be eligible for additional months of VA educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has published new information about the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill that applies to veterans who are receiving benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill Chapter 30," says Vicki Henson, CU Coordinator of Veteran Affairs. "This is a great new benefit, but very complex, especially for those with multiple chapters of eligibilities."
Because of the complexity of the bill, CU's Office of Veteran Affairs is available to meet with veterans to discuss the options that may be available to each individual.
"We want to ensure that our students have an understanding of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill," says Henson. "After they read about the bill on the V.A. website, students can schedule an individual meeting. While we will not tell a veteran which chapter they should select, we will work to make sure that they fully understand their choices and are able to make an informed decision about what is the most financially advantageous chapter of VA educational benefits for them to use while attending Cameron University. It is very important to compare all benefits available, both state and federal."
For those who are entitled to benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill Chapter 30 and who still have entitlement remaining, the entitlement under the Post-911 G.I. Bill is equal only to the number of months remaining under MGIB-Ch30. Henson explains that most individuals have 36 months of benefits under the MGIB-Ch30 program.
MGIB-eligible individuals who have exhausted all of the MGIB-Ch30 entitlement may be entitled to a maximum of 12 additional months of entitlements under the Post-911 G.I. Bill.
If an individual with MGIB-Ch30 entitlement exhausts their entitlement before switching to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, they can use the combination of multiple chapters of entitlement rule provided they meet the eligibility criteria for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Those who are eligible would receive 48 months of entitlement instead of receiving 36 months for both chapters if they switch to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill before exhausting all months of entitlement under the MGIB-Ch30.
"Although applications are now available online, it is critical that veterans read carefully the new information post in the yellow box on the Department of Veteran Affairs website before applying for this new benefit," Henson cautions. "Once an individual applies for the post-911 G.I. Bill, the individual cannot change back even though it might be financially advantageous to do so. This is an irrevocable election."
Henson recommends that VA educational recipient students or potential students planning to attend Cameron University first read about the new benefits on the VA website, then contact CU's Office of Veteran Affairs to schedule an appointment for individualized advisement about the benefits.
Details about the bill can be found online at www.gibill.va.gov, which features extensive information about this new V.A. educational benefit program.
The Cameron University Office of Veteran Affairs is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and is located on the CU campus in Room 332 of the North Shepler Tower. For more information, call 580-581-2301.
Individuals who are interested in applying for veterans educational benefits but who are not sure where they will be attending college can get more information by contacting the Muskogee VA Regional Office at 888-442-4551.
April 24, 2009