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Sailors Can Boost Their MGIB Benefits.

A provision of the recently enacted Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 permits certain Sailors to increase their monthly Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) program benefits by making an additional contribution to the program. Only Sailors who entered active duty after July 1, 1985, and enrolled in MGIB during their first two weeks of active duty are eligible.

Effective May 1, each additional contribution of $4 will increase the monthly MGIB benefit by $1 under the terms of the Act. The maximum additional contribution possible is $600. Sailors contributing the maximum would realize an increase to their MGIB monthly benefit of $150. In other words, Sailors who make the additional maximum contribution, and are enrolled as full-time students following active duty, will receive a total benefit of $800 monthly.

There are specific limiting eligibility requirements that apply to this provision. One constraint is that members who elect this option can contribute the additional amount only while serving on active duty. This is the law and is not waiverable. However, eligible Sailors who were on active duty on the Nov. 1,2000, enactment date of the legislation and separated prior to the effective date of May 1, have until July 31 to contribute. Separated members should make payment directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Affected members should contact the DVA at 1-888-GIBILL1, or 1-888-442-4551.

Personnel who are enrolled in the MGIB program by reason of involuntary separation, conversion from Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) or Vietnam-Era GI Bill, and those who enrolled in MGIB during the open enrollment period of Dec. 1, 1988, through June 30, 1989, are not eligible for this option.

"A nine-to-one return on your investment is possible," explained Mrs. Kathy Wardlaw, branch head of the federal education programs branch (PERS-604) at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn. "Combine the current MGIB benefit amount with the benefit available by making the maximum contribution allowed by the new law, and use the benefit for the full 36 months to maximize your benefit."

Further details regarding necessary action for participation will be announced soon via Navy-wide message. Additional information is available by calling PERS-604 MGIB program customer service representatives at DSN 882-4258 or 1-800-962-1425.

Mrs. Kathy Wardlaw can be reached at DSN 882-4275 or (901) 874-4275, or by e-mail at p604@persnet.navy.mil.

Michael McLellan, NAVPERSCOM Public Affairs, Millington, Tenn.
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Title Annotation:Montgomery GI Bill
Author:McLellan, Michael
Publication:All Hands
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Words:395
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