Panel of Judges Rules Veteran Can Get More Education Benefits

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 21, 2019 – A panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ruled a veteran was entitled to full education benefits under both the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills, subject to the cap on total benefits.

The veteran served from January 2000 to June 2002 as an enlisted person in the Army. The veteran paid into the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). From July 2003 to about May 2004, he received MGIB benefits for his undergraduate studies. From June 2004 to December 2005, he served on active duty as a member of the Army National Guard. After his discharge, he re-enrolled in his studies and received MGIB benefits.

From November 2007 to August 2011, the veteran returned to the Army as a commissioned officer. This period of service qualified him for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. He left the Army in 2011, planning to attend Yale Divinity School and return to the Army as a chaplain.

On March 18, 2015, the veteran applied for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The veteran contended that he should get 22 months and 16 days of benefits, which remained under the 48-month cap allowed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals decided he should only get 10 months and 16 days of benefits, the difference between the 36 months allowed by the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the 25 months and 14 days of benefits he received under the MGIB.

In BO v. Wilkie, a split decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims issued on August 15, 2019, a panel of judges reversed the Board’s decision. The panel ruled that the veteran was entitled to benefits under both the MGIB and the Post-9/11 GI Bill subject to a 36-month cap on the use of each program and a 48-month overall cap. The veteran may take 22 months and 16 days of additional benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, or he may take 10 months and 16 days of MGIB benefits and 12 months as Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

The panel’s decision may be appealed, but if it stands, veterans with more than one separately qualifying period of service may receive additional education benefits.

Learn more at David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548