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Can My Husband Still Use His GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband paid into the GI Bill the full time he was in the Army. My question is if he was kicked out of the Army with a General under other than honorable discharge, can he still use it? He was in the Army from 2002 until 2005.

A: First, your husband did not pay into the GI Bill for the entire time he was in the Army. Once he signed up for the GI Bill, the Army deducted $100 per month for the first 12 months he was in. At that point he had paid in the required $1,200 contribution for the Montgomery GI Bill. If he has the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which would fit into the time frame you referenced in your question, then no contribution was required at all.

Because he has General discharge, then no, he can not use his GI Bill benefits. If he thinks his discharge was in error or inaccurate, he can appeal it for up to 15 years from his date of discharge.

To start an appeal, he would have to fill out DD Form 293 and submit it to the Board of Corrections. There is no guarantee they will change his discharge to honorable, and it can take up to six months to get a decision back, but it may be worth a try.

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