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As a Retired Reservist, Am I Eligible for Any GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I want to find out if I am eligible for the GI Bill? I was in the Army Reserves from 1995- 2002. I cannot remember if I have the benefits or where to find out that information.

A: Generally speaking, no you won’t have any GI Bill benefits to use, if you had been in Reserves the whole time. Servicemembers in the Guard and Reserves have the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR) which is only good as long as the servicemember stays in a Reserve Component. Once discharged, the benefit goes away. Also, even if you stay in the Reserves, you only have 10-years, from the date you became eligible, to use the benefit.

With that said, more and more Guardsmen and Reservists are qualifying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill,which they have 15-years to use after their date of discharge. If you were mobilized, you may qualify for at least the minimum benefit (40%) which requires 90-days of active duty after September 10, 2001, on a Title 10 contingency operation order. Many times those orders were for a year, which would bring you up to the 60% level.

You can apply for benefits by submitting VA Form 22-1990 either through the VONAPP website or by downloading the form and sending it in according to the instruction on the form.

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