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How Do I Know If My GI Bill Is Still Good?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: How do I know if my GI Bill is still good?

A: It depends on which GI Bill you are talking about. The Montgomery GI Bill has a 10-year shelf life meaning if you do not use the education benefits within 10 years of your discharge date, they expire and are gone for good. If you are talking about the Post 9/11 GI Bill, it has a 15-year shelf life, so the first ones will start expiring in 2024.

Of course, your GI Bill will no longer be any good if you used up all your months of entitlements either. The other factor affecting use of your GI Bill is your characterization of discharge. Anything less than fully honorable and you would not be able to use your GI Bill until you have your discharge upgraded to honorable or served a term of service ending in an honorable rating.

The best way to tell is to contact the VA. Send in VA Form 22-1990. If you have benefits left that you can use, you will get back a Certificate of Eligibility stating so. If not, you will get a letter of denial and why.

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