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Cost-of-Living Increases For Montgomery GI Bill, Dependent Education Benefits

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If you are attending classes on the Montgomery GI Bill or the VA Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program, you will see an increase in your monthly payments starting in October 2022, thanks to the annual Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA.

COLA changes for the Post 9/11 GI Bill are already in effect, those increases occurred in August 2022.

Montgomery GI Bill — Active Duty COLA Increases

Active-duty full-time students using the Montgomery GI Bill may see their monthly payment move up to $2,210. Active duty half-time students will see their rate increase to $1,105 per month.

Montgomery GI Bill rules specify a monthly payment, the amount is determined by the number of classroom hours you carry. Undergraduate attendance may be calculated as follows:

  • 0-2 hours is equal to quarter-time attendance
  • 3-5 hours – is equal to less than half-time attendance
  • 6-8 hours – equal to half-time attendance
  • 9-11 hours is equal to three-quarter time attendance

12 hours or more is considered full-time in most cases. When attending grad school on the Montgomery GI Bill, you are paid based on what your school determines as full or part-time attendance. That means if your school considers six hours of classes per semester or term to be full-time, you are considered a full-time student for Montgomery GI Bill purposes.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) COLA Increases

A full-time Reservist using the Montgomery GI Bill (Selected Reserve) will see GI Bill monthly payments to go up to $439 in October. Half-time Reservist students could see their monthly payments go up to $219. 

Undergraduate attendance under the MGIB-SR is as follows:

  • 0-2 hours – quarter-time
  • 3-5 hours – less than halftime
  • 6-8 hours – half-time
  • 9-11 hours – three-quarter time

12 hours or more is considered full-time in most cases. Graduate students using the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve are paid based on what your school establishes as a full time commitment. If your school considers six hours of classes per semester or term to be full-time, you are considered a full-time student for Montgomery GI Bill purposes.

Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program COLA Increases

The VA program called Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program offers up to 36 months in VA education benefits that can be used for a degree or credentials in VA-approved programs.

Full-time students using VA Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance benefits could get $1,401 a month thanks to the COLA increase. Half-time students may be offered as much as $812 a month. 

Spouses or school-age dependent children of vets who meet any of the criteria listed below may qualify for this program. Qualifying criteria includes, but may not be limited to the following as published by the Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • A veteran who is permanently, totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability;
  • A veteran who died as the result of a service-connected disability
  • A veteran who died with a VA recognized service-connected disability, but not necessarily because of it.
  • A service member missing in action
  • A service member captured in the line of duty.
  • A service member likely to be discharged or released from service for a service-connected disability.

To qualify, dependent children must be between the ages of 18 – 26. You do not qualify for this program if you are serving on active duty, and this benefit is typically not offered after your 31st birthday.

Qualifying military spouses have a ten-year span of time to use these benefits. That clock begins counting down from the time you are declared eligible for the benefit, or 10 years from the death of the veteran.