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I Just Want to Know How Long My Post 9/11 GI Bill Appeal Process Can Take?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I served 4+ years in the Army. During that time I opted for the College Loan Repayment Program. Now I’m trying to use my post 9/11 GI Bill to attend a language school. The VA has sent me a certificate of eligibility but for only 60% of the tuition. Their reasoning is that the time I served during my CLRP does not count toward my GI Bill time. I was wondering what particular law this applies to? Also, I’m considering appealing their decision. Just wanting to know how long this appeal process can take? My course starts up in June. Thanks.

A: You can appeal if you want, but it will be a waste of your time as you will not win. When you signed up for the College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) you incurred a three-year obligation. During those three years, you do not acquire GI Bill eligibility. You can’t get the GI Bill and CLRP for the same three year time period.

So your eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill did not start until after your first three years had lapsed. So the VA was right in sending you your Certificate of Eligibility at 60%. At 60%, it means you served for at least 12 months, but less than 18 months after your CLRP obligation was satisfied.

If you do decide to appeal, it can be a long drawn-out process and like I said, you don’t have a chance of winning, so my advice is to accept your 60% and drive on.
If you want to bump up your eligibility to 100%, you would have to reenlist back on active duty for somewhere around 17 to 24 months or join the Reserves or National Guard and go on two one-year deployments on Title 10 orders in support of a contingency operation.

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