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Do I Have 10 Years to Use or Begin Using My Montgomery GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello I am currently receiving benefits from the Montgomery GI bill but my delimiting date is 7/24/10 and I’m currently going to school. Will they stop paying me after that date because, I was under the impression that I had 10 years to apply and I still have a year and a half to go?

A: Your delimiting date is 10 years from the date of your discharge. Any Montgomery GI Bill benefits you have left at that time, you will lose.

The way the regulation reads is you have 10 years to use your benefits, not begin using your benefits, so wherever you got the information that you had 10 years to apply was erroneous. I’m continually amazed at how much “bad” information is out there concerning the Montgomery GI Bill and all Bills in general.

The VA does issue delimiting date extensions if one of the three following conditions apply to you:

  • served at least 90 days of active duty since the discharge on record;
  • were prevented from going to school by injuries or health problems or;
  • were detained by a foreign government or power.

These three reasons are generally the only ones the VA uses to approve an extension. If any of them do apply to you, contact the VA immediately. They will instruct you as to the paperwork they need to justify the extension.

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