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If I Was Discharged in 2001, Can I Still Use My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was honorably discharged from active duty in the Army in 2001, and I participated in the GI Bill. I have not yet used it to go to school, but I would like to. Am I still eligible to receive benefits?

A: Yes you are still eligible to receive your GI Bill benefits, but you should hurry. If you got out in 2001, you would have the Montgomery GI Bill and its benefits expire 10 years from your date of discharge. So depending on when you got out in 2001, you have anywhere from 6 to 18 months to use your benefits; after that, they are gone.

You can get up to $1,321 per month that you can use to pay your education expenses to go to school for:

  • degree-producing programs;
  • certifications and licenses programs;
  • apprenticeships/OJT programs;
  • correspondence courses.

You can apply for your benefits by filling out VA Form 22-1990 either online or downloading the form, filling it out and mailing it in according to the instructions on the form. Once approved, the VA will send you your Certificate of Eligibility. When you go to enroll in school, take your certificate with you and you should be good to go.

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