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Has My GI Bill Expired After 11 Years?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I separated from the Navy 11 years ago. I have always heard the GI Bill expires after ten years. I haven’t used any of it yet – am I still eligible?

A:  I’m sorry, your GI Bill has expired. If you got out 11 years ago you would have had the Montgomery GI Bill. That particular GI Bill has a 10-year delimiting date as you noted in your question. The 10-year clock starts on your date of discharge. If you would have had the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then you would had an additional 5 years to use your education benefits as that GI Bill has a 15-year delimiting date.

There are three instances when the VA will consider delimiting date extension:

  • if you were detained by a foreign power (must provide evidence of detainment);
  • recalled back to active duty (which would extend your delimiting date by the length of your tour);
  • prevented from going to school by a long-term illness or temporary disability (requires extensive doctor, hospital and lab documentation).

If none of the three apply, then your chances of getting an extension are slim to nil.

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