MGIB-SR Chapter 1606


Overview
The Montgomery GI Bill - Selective Reserve (MGIB-SR) Chapter 1606 was enacted by Congress on 01 July 1985, as an educational benefit to promote enlistment, and increase the education level of the soldiers in the Selected Reserves. Originally its benefits only covered education through the Baccalaureate level. Effective 10 November 1993, Congress amended Chapter 1606 benefits, to also include multiple Baccalaureate degrees, Graduate level degrees, vocational / technical, flight training (above a private pilot’s license) and remedial classes. These additional training programs are known as the New Enhancement Benefits.

The MGIB-SR Date of Basic Eligibility is like a birth date. Once a service member becomes eligible for the program, the date never changes. When eligibility criteria are met, a delimiting period (expiration date) is established and the service member has 14 years to use the program. Note: Soldiers who established a Date of Basic Eligibility before 1 Oct 1992 had a delimiting period of 10 years to use their MGIB-SR benefits.

You are eligible for 36 full time months of entitlements. You may receive a maximum of 48 months of entitlements under more than one VA education program.

You can concurrently use Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) with the MGIB-SR.

Eligibility
You automatically become eligible for MGIB-SR benefits, when you:

  • Have a six-year active drilling obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve. (If you are an officer, you must agree to serve six years actively drilling in addition to your current obligation unless you were eligible prior to your commissioning) and;
  • Complete Initial Active Duty Training (IADT)
  • Serve in an active drilling status in a Selected Reserve unit and remain in good standing (no AWOLs).

Benefits
Benefits under the MGIB-SR will be provided for the pursuit of most undergraduate, vocational / technical, cooperative training, apprenticeship or on-job training (OJT) offered by a company, correspondence courses, independent study, and graduate schools that are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA will certify the individual as a full-time, three quarter (3/4), one-half (1/2), or less than one-half time. Benefits may be used in all of the preceding fashions as long as the maximum value of entitlements, 36 months of full-time benefits, is not exceeded. View the latest rates at MGIB-SR Chapter 1606 Rate Table.

Application procedures
a. Read, understand, and complete DA Form 5435-R, Statement of Understanding - Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program. This document is signed and completed on the day of enlistment with your recruiter and is posted in your iPERMS file which ensures knowledge of the conditions is a matter of record.
b. When eligibility criteria are met contact your unit administrator and request your DD Form 2384 Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE).
c. The NOBE (DD 2384) may only be generated through the iMARC or GIMS systems.
d. Once your NOBE (DD 2384) is printed it should be placed into your iPERMS record.
e. If the Soldier is not eligible for MGIB-SR Chapter 1606 benefits contact the GI Bill Manager to determine if the eligibility may be corrected.
f. Soldiers must attend a VA approved school in order to use MGIB-SR benefits:

(1) VA Institution Search
(2) NJ State Approving Agency
(3) National Association of State Approving Agencies
(4) Call the VA at 1-888-GI BILL-1

g. When the soldier enrolls, s/he must present the original copy of DD Form 2384 to the Veterans Affairs Representative (VA Rep) at your institution. The VA Rep will assist you in filling out a VA Form 22-1990 “Application for VA Education Benefits. The VA Rep will complete a VA Form 22-1999 “Enrollment Certification” and send all three documents to the VA Regional Office in Buffalo, NY.
h. If it is the first time applying for MGIB-SR benefits initial claims processing takes approximately 2-3 months after documents are received at the VA Regional Office. Once approved, the soldier will receive a letter explaining entitlements. The VA will send a direct deposit payment within 10 days of receipt. The VA will send a direct deposit payment to you at the beginning of each subsequent month. If you have problems with late payments contact the VA @ 1-888-GI BILL-1.
i. Officers - In addition to the above procedures, officers who were never eligible as an enlisted soldier must fill out a DA Form 5447-R Officer Service Agreement Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program. This form is to be sent to the NJARNG MGIB Manager, who will update MGIB eligibility in iMARC and then post in the officer’s iPERMS record.
j. After your initial payment of education benefits to receive monthly payments you must, at the end of each month, notify the VA that your enrollment status has not changed. This can be done by either going to the VA web site at www.gibill.va.gov/wave or automated telephone system at 1-877 VA-ECERT (1-877-823-2378) in order to continue receiving benefits.

VA Work-Study Allowance Program
a. The VA Work-Study Allowance Program is intended as a supplemental educational benefit which can serve as a special increment that could make a desired program of education or training feasible
b. The VA Work-Study Allowance Program is payable to students pursuing a program of education or training at 3/4 or fulltime status under MGIB-SR Chapter 1606.
c. Consult Work-Study Program for more details.

Payments when VA Representative is not available
a. Soldiers taking correspondence courses will receive a certification of courses completed each quarter from your certifying official. Enter the number of courses completed during that quarter, and send the certification form to the school to verify the number of lessons that were serviced. The school will release the completed certification form to the VA office to be processed for payments.
b. If you are attending a vocational / technical school, you will receive a monthly verification form from your certifying official. Sign this verification form to indicate that you are still in school, and return it to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
P.O. Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616

The VA will process the certification, and release the payment to you.
c. Soldiers in apprenticeships or On-the-Job-Training programs will receive a monthly certification form, to record the hours worked during that month. Sign, and give the certification form to the certifying official of the company or union. The official must then complete the certification and return it to the address above.

Changes in status
a. Transfers:

(1) When an individual (officer or enlisted) transfers into the New Jersey Army National Guard, his or her MGIB-SR status MUST be entered into the SIDPERS data base ASAP. SIDPERS personnel will enter this information if the DA Form 2384 is in the accession packet; or stated on the Personnel Qualification Record (PQR).
(2) It is imperative that the unit administrator verifies the transferred Soldier’s MGIB-SR status with SIDPERS as soon as possible.
(3) The VA will stop educational payments if the SIDPERS data base is not updated. The losing, out of state, organization reports that the soldier is discharged from their state. The VA computer is updated from with information. The gaining unit / state must pick up the MGIB status in order for the soldier’s benefits to continue and to update the VA computer.

b. Enlisted to Officer. When an enlisted Soldier becomes a Warrant Officer or Commissioned Officer, they are discharged from the NJARNG as an enlisted soldier and picked up again as an officer on the following day. SIDPERS must reenter (transfer) the MGIB information when the officer's automated records are created.

Termination / Expiration
a. Eligibility will be permanently terminated when an individual is voluntarily discharged from the Selected Reserve (Example: Individual is discharged to take a voluntary assignment in the Regular Army).
b. Permanent termination can occur if a soldier becomes an unsatisfactory participant (receives a total of nine AWOLs).
c. If a soldier stops drilling, the commander is to contact the NJARNG Education Center, in writing, via e-mail and the soldier will be dropped from the program. Warning: Once the soldier is terminated she/he cannot be reinstated.
d. Permanent termination occurs when a service member is discharged from the Selective Reserve (any service) for Unsatisfactory Participation. Eligibility, once terminated cannot be regained, even if the individual reenlists in the Army National Guard for six years.
e. An individual may be transferred to the ING or IRR for a period not to exceed one year or three years in the case of missionary service, these periods of inactive status are considered “authorized non-availability.”
f. Eligibility may be regained if a soldier, in this case, returns to drilling status within the time allowed and extends for the time spent in the inactive status.
g. Entitlement to unused benefits will normally expire on the earlier of the following two dates:

(1) The 14th anniversary of eligibility to benefits. The 14 year eligibility period begins when an individual first becomes eligible, not when benefits are first used.
(2) On the date of separation from the Selected Reserve (except if separated for a disability due to no fault of the soldier in which case benefits are retained for the entire 14 year period).
(3) Exception. ARNG soldiers who are eligible for the MGIB-SR who are federally mobilized for 1 day or more will get the period of the mobilization plus 4 months added to their MGIB-SR benefit after the mobilization. To get the additional time added, soldiers must send a copy of their DD Form 214 to their Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) Regional Processing Office (RPO) and request a determination of their new eligibility period. The VA RPO for New Jersey is:

Department of Veterans Affairs
P.O. Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616


Reference
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) Chapter 1606 Policy: EIOM 15-004.

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