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Can I Get an Extension On My GI Bill If I Couldn’t Use It?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I retired in 1991. I applied for employment and was hired in Saudi Arabia. The base commander for the Air Force did not allow access to retired personnel for the use of the education allowance. I finished my contract in the year 2000 and was employed with a contract in Qatar too late to use my allowance. I wrote my congressman about my problem and asked for a continued extension of my allowance with negative results. It’s been over 20 years so can I have a waiver of my education allowance.

A: I’m not sure how 20 years ties in with an education waiver. The delimiting date of the Montgomery GI Bill (which would have been the one you would have had back in 1991) had a 10-year expiration date, so it expired in 2001.

Generally speaking, the VA only issues GI Bill delimiting date extensions in three instances:

  • If you were detained by a foreign power;
  • Unable to attend classes;
  • Recalled to active duty.

While you were unable to physically attend classes, it probably would be a hard case to make that you could not attend online classes. Besides the Air Force secure network, there had to be an unsecure network for all airmen and base employees to privately access the Internet, email, etc.

If there was not, and you can prove it, then you may have a case to argue with the VA. Otherwise, it will be pointless to try.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say a negative response. If your congressman never replied back, that is one thing. If you did get a response back, but it was not favorable, then it is another indication that it is probably a dead issue.

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