With the new legislative changes that occurred in fiscal year 2007 there have been a lot of changes in the Montgomery GI Bill. Many people have questions and want to know what has changed, especially relating to the way the GI bill benefit affects going to college or university.
Here are some of the most frequent questions, and answers to them:
Is the Montgomery GI Bill thought of or considered as Financial Aid? In most cases, no its not. Most schools nationwide do not consider GI bill funds as financial aid, partly because under the MGIB the funds paid to Servicemembers are paid directly to the Servicemember, not the school. Typical Financial aid requires a promissory note (on the part of loans) and they require that financial aid be used to pay them first. Any money that you receive as a MGIB recipient will count as income, however, and will reduce the types and amounts of some other financial aid that you may qualify for.
If I apply for the Montgomery GI Bill, how long do I have to use my benefits? As a basic rule, you have ten years from the time you separate from the service to use your MGIB benefits. You should know that while the ten years is counted from the day you separate, if you get called back to active duty for more than ninety days, the ten-year clock resets. Its ten years from your last discharge of more than ninety days of service.
Can I begin, and stop using my MGIB benefits? In short, YES. Many people believe if they take a year or two off of school, or stop school to return later several years down the road that they will not have any benefits to access. This is simply untrue. Whenever you return to school you can reapply and start using the MGIB benefits again. Is my MGIB benefit taxable? No they are not, they are not subject to state or federal tax. How often will payments arrive on my MGIB? Most of the time you will get monthly benefits from the MGIB. Each month of enrollment in school requires you verify your status; this can be done on the Internet or by Telephone.
What types of benefits are available besides the MGIB? You can receive any one of a number of benefits if you are an eligible VA student. You have to choose which one to get, as you cannot collect on more than one type at a time. Some of the other types of Educational VA benefits are: Educational Pilot assistance program, Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance. MGIB Active Duty Education assistance, Post-Vietnam Era Veteran Educational assistance, Educational Assistance Testing Program, and other Veterans with Service connected disabilities educational programs.