The DoD announced a policy change in the Montgomery G.I. Bill that increases the eligibility window for some Reservists. The new policy will align with the Department of Veterans Affairs rules, which allow National Guard and Reservists to receive MGIB education benefits for the amount of time they were called to active duty, plus four months.
The old DoD rules granted eligibility for the amount of time served on active duty, but also required the member to continue to serve in the Selected Reserve. The new eligibility rules do not require that the member continue to serve in the Selected Reserve to receive MGIB benefits.
This is great news for those Guard and Reserve members who were activated for an extended period of time. They now have the opportunity to separate from the Guard or Reserves and use their GI Bill benefits for a time period equal to their activation period, plus 4 months.
The amount of time the service member is eligible to receive MGIB benefits is still maxed out at 36 months, so previous use will count against that.
There are other educational benefits previously activated Guard and Reserve members may be eligible for, including the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP). Answers to common questions and eligibility requirements can be found at the Department of Veterans Affairs G.I. Bill website, or through your local education office.
The G.I. Bill is a great way to get a valuable education at minimal cost, so if you have the chance to use it, go for it!