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Is It Possible to Get an Extension On My Chapter 35 Expiration Date?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am 25 years old and have used only 11 months of my Chapter 35 benefits. I had to leave school in November of 2010 due to my grandfather (who I get my benefits from) became terminally ill. He passed away in March of 2011 and I had to help my grandmother manage the estate and take care of her and my two younger siblings who she is also raising. I am now 25 and will turn 26 this Nov. 4 which will end my time limit. I was told I can write the VA for an extension is this true and what are my chances?

A: I can’t tell you exactly what your chances would be of getting an extension, but based on what I’m reading in your question, I would think that you would have a good chance of getting one.

Specifically, the VA addresses the extension of Chapter 35 benefits if you were temporarily disabled and could not go to school. While you were not temporarily disabled, you were not able to go to school being you had to stay home and take care of your grandmother and other siblings after a tragic event such as your grandfather passing away.

The way I would approach this would be to write a letter to the VA explaining:
• why you are writing – your Chapter 35 benefit will end upon your 26th birthday.
• the circumstances that affect the reason you are writing – you were not able to attend school during the period of time from when your grandfather passed away in November 2010 until now.
• and ask for an extension of time equal to the amount of time you lost.

Laying out your letter in a logical sequence shows you are an organized person and interested in completing your education. There is not a specific format to use – just write it out in standard letter format.

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