Refunds for Montgomery GI Bill Contributions

Way more thorough and up-to-date information is available at Montgomery GI Bill Refunds.

I’ve seen some questions about service members who bought into the Montgomery GI bill and are now eligible for the new Post 9/11 GI bill. The question is answered at the VA website but it isn’t written very clearly. As it is written, it seems to say that if you bought into the Montgomery Bill, and you choose to use the Post 9/11 Bill, and you use all of it, you can get a refund of the $1200 Montgomery Bill buy-in.

Please, if you know more, or if I am wrong, let me know in the comments.

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Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.

25 Comments on "Refunds for Montgomery GI Bill Contributions"

  1. What is the answer t | July 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm |

    Do you get a reimbursement?

  2. RICHARD COX | July 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm |


  3. Ken Nichols | July 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm |

    To find out if you are ELIGLEIBLE…choose the Post 9/11 Bill, use all of it, then ask for the refund! ;-)

  4. All, the only way to verify your elibility is to call the VA. I would suggest that you somehow get it in writing. Then take the steps listed: a) choose the new Post 9/11 GI bill, b) use all of it, c) request a refund.

    This option is only available to people who are eligible for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill.

  5. From my research, you get a portion of it back with your last housing allowance check, but I have failed to find out how much in either a dollar amount or percentage.

    If anyone has been through this, let me know how much of your $1,200 Montgomery GI Bill contribution you got back.


  6. I have almost exhausted my 9/11 GI Bill benefits after transferring it over from the Montgomery GI Bill. When I called the VA concerning the $1,200 refund, the rep had no idea what I was talking about. I had to insist on an answer to the question, which she had to ask another rep about. Her answer was quite vague. Basically she "thinks" I will be entitled to a percentage of the $1,200 but could not provide a formula or crteria to determine what that percentage would be.

  7. You will receive your full $1200 in the very last installment of your 9/11 benefits. So you must use it all to get the $1200 back. Also, if you participated in the $600 buy-up, you will not get that money back.

  8. I too paid $1200 into my GI Bill, and now I use Post 9/11. I have since exhausted my benefits and was told that my $1200 would come with my last check. Well, it didn't. I called the VA, sat on hold for 30 minutes, and the woman told me that I had to go to and REQUEST to get my money refunded back to me by going though "Ask a question." We shall see how long that takes, or even if it works… The woman also said that this process was fairly new and when I expressed frustration and disgust, she told me to "Blame Washington."

  9. So Jennifer, do you ever receive your payment? I am expecting to receive my reimbursement in the next few months, so it seems as if I'll have to contact the VA once again for one more missed GI Bill payment…

  10. I too have requested the refund. The VA rep I spoke with sound to write a letter and fax it to them, which in my case is the Muskogee office. I just did that, and we'll see what happens.

  11. Phillip, I got the same instruction. Its been about two weeks now and I haven't heard anything back. This is frustrating, since for some reason a Marine with a Bachelors degree is not enough to get a decent job in this country.

  12. Combat Veteran on hold for same issue, I have not recieved my initial $1,200 back yet, on hold for only 25 min. originally i went in to a local westpalm beach VA benefits office, who said they dont handle that, call the education dept. anyone have problems with local VA benefits offices?

  13. I faxed a letter requesting my refund on August 26, 2013 to the Muskogee, OK office and have yet to receive the refund or any update. I called about two weeks ago and all they could tell me is that it was being processed. My co-worker informed me that I could get the refund and he stated he got his back within 10 business days. I guess it all depends on who the caseworker is. SMH

  14. Gil Fontimayor | December 2, 2013 at 9:10 am |

    I'm a VEAP converter to Montgomery and have gotten my B.S. degree and still had 20 months remaining on my G.I. Bill Montgomery, can I refund my 20 months back from VA? I retired from active duty on Nov 1999.

  15. Well, I have some typical news for you… If you transferred your benefits to a spouse or child you are SOL. I used the majority of my GIBILL, then my son used it for 2 semesters and decided school just isn't his thing, but that move forfeits my entitlement….ridiculous!!!

  16. I'm attempting to recieve a refund of the $1200 I paid for the MGIB back in 2004. I was told by a VA rep on the phone today that in order to recieve the refund I needed to be recieving a housing allowance to get the $1200 back the exact semster that my Post 9/11 GI bill was exhausted. I've been taking 16-18 hours the past 4 semesters in order to apply to Physical Therapy school; as a result I only have one 4 hour class currently. I'm under full-time standards and not recieving a housing allowance so I was basically told that I don't get my $1200 back based on the technicality of not recieving a housing allowance the last semester I was eligible for the Post 9/11 benefits.

  17. Pretty much anything they can come up with NOT to give it to you…I'm not gonna give up.

  18. You might try submitting VA Form 22-5281, Application For Refund of Educational Contributions, to obtain VEAP reimbursement if you exhausted your Post 9/11 educational benefits.

  19. anthony allen | April 16, 2014 at 1:57 am |

    What if u are not going to go to college and you just want your money back that you contributed to the Montgomery gi bill

  20. anthony, there is no provision for a refund of your purchase into the Montgomery GI Bill program. You really should consider using your benefit. It can be used for a wide variety of training programs, including college degree and certificate programs, technical or vocational courses, flight training, apprenticeships or on-the-job training, high-tech training, licensing and certification tests, entrepreneurship training, certain entrance examinations, and correspondence courses. You also get money for living expenses while studying. It is an amazing program and more education never hurts!

  21. after looking at the VA website i found this

    combined with

    should draw the conclusion you dont get it until after you 9/11 is over, and you only get a prorated entitlement of what "would have been left" if you were using the Montgomery GI Bill, am i interpreting this wrong?

  22. I just exhausted the rest of my 9/11 and received my $1200 back within a few days. The entire amount has to be completely gone through. The day that it is exhausted will start the process. I go through the St. Louis VA regional office

  23. I paid my school ahead of time using a college 529 fund. The GI bill then sent me a check for 60% of my tuition. Can I spend that or do I have to put it back into the 529 fund?


  24. Jonathan – did you have to call the VA or submit documentation in order to get the 1200 dollars back? Some of the prior posts have people calling the VA or submitting documentation. I was under the impression by multiple "experts" that this 1200 dollars was included in the final housing bill (9/11) but this was not the case in my situation. I just exhausted the final education benefit under 9/11 and only go the partial housing allowance. thanks

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