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How Do I Get My GI Bill Privileges Back?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is there any way to get the GI Bill back if it was taken because you missed some drills and became an unsatisfactory participant, but made them all up and are now actively participating and in good standing with your unit?

A: I’m assuming you are either a National Guard or Reserve member and you are talking about the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). When you became an unsat participant, your unit suspended your use of the GI Bill, by notifying the VA of your waning drill status. So you never “lost” it in the sense that it is gone forever; you are just prohibited from using it right now until your unit tells the VA that you are back in good standing again.

The unsat process works on an annual basis. Generally, you lose your GI Bill privileges after 5 unauthorized absences within a 12 month period.

Once your trust factor between you and your unit was broken, it takes awhile to rebuild that trust, so your unit might be sitting back watching if you are back in the game or not before they tell the VA to start letting you use your GI Bill again. Stop in the Orderly Room and ask them when you will get your privileges back. That gives you the perfect opportunity to plead your case and convince them your are back in the game.

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