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Each year the VA releases Montgomery GI BILL payment rates and the news is often good. Still, there are many stories of lost opportunities, due to valuable Montgomery GI Bill benefits that have been allowed to exceed their 10 year expiration date.
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Montgomery GI Bill Featured Article

WHAT IF MY MONTGOMERY GI BILL BENEFITS HAVE EXPIRED?

Each year the VA releases Montgomery GI BILL payment rates and the news is often good. For example, for 2011, Montgomery GI Bill payment rates increased by 4 percent to $1,426 a month, making the total value of the older Montgomery GI Bill program $51K+ (for 36 months) for those who have not yet started using their Montgomery GI Bill benefit.

Unlike the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the MGIB rates for full-time, three quarter, half, and less then half-time are relatively straightforward. Thus, for 2011 for example, a veteran carrying a full student load (12 semester hour units) earns the full Montgomery GI Bill monthly payment rate of $1,426, while the halftime-time student would get half that amount ($713).

But what if the 10 year limit on your Montgomery GI Bill benefits has expired? Can you still receive educational support?

DON'T WAIT 'TIL IT'S TOO LATE

There are too many stories of lost opportunities, due to valuable Montgomery GI Bill benefits that have been allowed to exceed their 10 year expiration date:

"I was honorably discharged in 1980, but never used any part of my Montgomery GI Bill. I returned immediately after discharge to live in Europe where I had been living since 1976 when I initially PCSd here. Now I would like to finish college but can't afford to pay the tuition and fees. Can I still apply my GI Bill or has that ship sailed?"

IF YOU RUN OUT OF TIME...TRY VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM

Take heart; even if your Montgomery GI Bill benefits have set sail, you may still have the Vocational Rehabilitation Program on your horizon.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program will pay for your school, books and supplies and gives you a small monthly allowance if you qualify. The monthly allowance may vary from state to state or country; speak to a VA representative in order to find out your allowances.

And here's a valuable tip: if you do qualify, use your Vocational Rehabilitation funds first. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program is set up to retrain those whose military vocation aggravates their disability. Use your Vocational Rehabilitation funds first, then use the Montgomery GI Bill benefits you have earned, (before the 10 year expiration date) to further your education.


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