The Montgomery GI Bill - Everything You Need To Know

After signing up, members of the US armed forces have to put in a lot of work to fulfill their professional military responsibilities. Their honorable service is rewarded through a variety of benefits targeting veterans, such as helping with veterans home loans, and training for civilian jobs, which is the purpose of the Montgomery GI Bill. 

The bill was introduced to provide active and honorably separated members of the US military with a viable path to rejoining society. The bill provides educational benefits to members of the military.  

What Is The Montgomery GI Bill?

The Montgomery GI Bill, introduced back in 1984 was designed as an improvement on the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Act (VEAP), which was considered lacking in providing enough support to veterans, and impetus for the public to join the US armed forces. 

Although it has gone through various changes over the years, the Montgomery GI Bill was introduced to facilitate the provision of educational benefits to members of the US defense forces through the Department of Veteran Affairs. 

It is designed to help members of the US defense forces, whether active or honorably discharged, create the necessary foundation for a prosperous future through a variety of benefits which include tens of thousands of dollars meant to meet higher learning or training costs. 

The bill provides that beneficiaries will receive a monthly payment of 1,857 dollars for up to 36 months or four years of college education. The payment is adjusted for inflation each year, on the first day of October. 

Although it is considered to be a support program, the bill is also one of the most important programs used to attract members of the public to enlist for the armed forces. 

It’s worth noting that this benefits program is divided into two different parts, to cater to the distinct needs of active members of the armed forces and reservists separately; this article focuses on the former. 

Requirements For Eligibility 

For you to receive benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill, you must fulfill a number of important requirements. First and foremost, all members of the US armed forces who completed high school, or possess an equivalent certification, who have completed two years active duty or four years in the reserves, and continue to be in active duty or have been honorably discharged are eligible to the program. 

Members must also meet a host of other VA specific requirements before they are considered to be eligible for the program. 

It’s worth noting that any members deemed to be ineligible for the program in their first term of service, may become eligible in their second term of service provided that they meet the established requirements. 

To receive the benefits, eligible members are required to make a $100 monthly investment into the program for the first 12 months of service; or a lump sum payment of $1,200. Those who remain in active duty can also make an additional $600 investment to receive an extra $5,400 as part of their benefits upon activation of their benefits later on. 

Montgomery GI Bill Benefits 

As previously stated, participation in the Montgomery GI Bill comes with a variety of educational benefits, with the most important one being access to tens of thousands of dollars meant for educational and training purposes. 

Members can start receiving payments from the program after completing two years of service as stated above. It is however worth noting that the amount of payment received usually is dependent on whether you, the recipient, are still enrolled in active duty, or has been honorably discharged. 

Members who are still in active duty receive a lower amount as compared to the full benefit conferred to those who have been honorably discharged. Benefits received by those in active duty only cover tuition costs and expenses, while those for honorably discharged members cover their full college cost with no limit on the tuition cost. As such, it’s important for members to find out more about what they stand to receive before actually activating their benefits to ensure that they get the maximum amount. 

Montgomery GI Bill benefits usually expire after ten years. This means that the beneficiary loses the amount they stood to receive, as well as their initial 1,200 dollar investment. 

You may also want to see the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill GI Bill and how it differs from the Montgomery Bill.