Would you like to utilize both the Post-9/11 and the Montgomery GI Bill? Just wait.

Would you like to utilize both the Post-9/11 and the Montgomery GI Bill? Just wait.

It will be reviewed later this year by another panel on whether veterans should utilize either the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the Montgomery GI Bill to get a college degree. It's the latest legal twist in the long fight over education benefits.

However, a final decision will likely not be made for several semesters.
This week, associates of the U.S. Appeals Court ordered attorneys to submit new briefs, following a VA appeal.

This move comes about six months after a three-judge panel of the court ruled against VA lawyers' assertion that veterans can't use both GI Bill programs.

Millions of students could benefit from one veteran's GI Bill battle. Rudsill vs. McDonough has been in federal court for over six years.

Jim Rudisill's attorneys contend that Department officials misread the law by allowing him to choose between the two programs rather than receiving payments from both programs. Rudisill was injured by a bomb in Iraq in 2005 while serving in the Army.

Rudisill got another year's GI Bill benefits from several lower courts who agreed with him.

Outside advocacy groups speculate that the ruling could apply to up to 2 million veterans who have exhausted their post-9/11 GI Bill benefits but have also contributed to the Montgomery GI Bill while in the military.

In the new hearing, not only will Rudisill be discussed, but also the following question will be raised: "What are the educational benefits that a veteran who is eligible for GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill is entitled to?"
GI Bill education benefits provide veterans with 36 months of tuition payouts, housing stipends, and other financial aid.

If veterans are paid into the Montgomery GI Bill program at the beginning of their military service, they are entitled to several thousands of dollars in tuition benefits annually. After a decade, it will be completely phased out.

If veterans needed to choose between the two programs, most vets would opt for the more generous Post-9/11 GI Bill. Advocates say that the court's decision, in this case, may open the door for veterans who cannot complete their degrees within 36 months to receive a smaller education stipend for another year.