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Do I Have Any GI Bill Benefits Left?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was in the Army for the years from 1983-1987. My question is do I qualify for any kind of educational benefits? My wife is going to school to learn English and  is there any kind of benefits that would help her (us) with financial aid? Thank you.

A: Back then, you would have had to sign up for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and made the $1,200 contribution to qualify for the MGIB. If you did not do that, then most likely you didn’t have the MGIB.

In the end though, it would not have made a difference anyway for a couple of reasons. One, even if you had the MGIB, it did not have a transfer option, so it would not have been any help to your wife. Two, the Montgomery GI Bill has a 10-year shelf life meaning if you did not use it within 10-years from your date of discharge, the education benefits expired.

As a suggestion, have your wife fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That will give her (and you) an idea of what kind and how much education financial assistance she could get if she goes to school. All you would be out is a little time and you might be surprised what she could get for educational assistance.

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