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If I Received a General Discharge, Do I Have Any GI Bill Education Benefits I Can Use?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I received a General Discharge, I am wanting to attend a coal mining class through Illinois Eastern Community College, do I have any GI Bill benefits?

You have GI Bill benefits – but with a General discharge, you can’t use them. So if you think you were wronged by getting a General discharge, and you have enough evidence to support an upgrade, then start the process by submitting a DD Form 293 to your service branch’s Discharge Review Board. It can take up to a year to hear back with a decision and there are not any guarantees, but at least it is an avenue of appeal if you have been out less than 15 years.

If it has been more than 15 years, then you have to use DD Form 149 and submit it to the Board of Corrections of Military Records. That is also your place of appeal should your Discharge Review Board decision come back disapproved and you want to pursue it further. However, the Board of Corrections is the end of the road as far as the appeal process.

Also, depending on how serious you are at getting an upgrade, you might want to either consider appearing in person at your Discharge Review Board hearing or have a lawyer with military discharge upgrade experience appear in your stead. Yes, it will cost you money, but those making a personal appearance or have a lawyer making one for them have a higher percentage of getting upgrade requests approved.

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