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How Can I Get an Extension to My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I served in the United States Army active duty from 1997 to 2001. I qualified for the Army College fund ($40,000). Due to moving states and having children, I was unable to start using my benefits until 8 months ago. On June 5, 2011, my 10-year deadline will be up, but I have only used half of my benefits. I was born in Houston, TX and currently reside in Memphis, TN. Is there any way to extend my benefits or receive help (tuition assistance) to continue my online college courses until I receive my degree?

A: Most likely not. The VA generally only issues GI Bill delimiting date extensions under three situations:

  • detained by a foreign power;
  • if you had an illness or temporary disability that prevented you from attending school for an extended period of time;
  • if you were recalled to active duty;

While moving around the country and raising a family might have prevented you from going to school, I don’t think you can defend it to the point of getting an extension to your Montgomery GI Bill, but you can apply to the VA and see what happens. All you would lose is some time.

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