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Is There an Extension to the 10-Year Montgomery GI Bill Delimitation Date I Can Get?

Q: Thanks! …I retired from the U.S. Army in 1992 on disability after 19 years of service. And was eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill. Before the ten year expiration, I applied to the VA to use these benefits and was disapprove due to health. Now I re-applied again a month ago and was told by the VA that these benefits are now expired. I understand that congress pass a statute that allows veterans who could not use their benefits due to disability were exempt from the ten-year limit and were still qualified and could apply at some later date to use these benefit. Am I right on this, please untangle this mystery. Thanks!! …and old Combat Vietnam Veteran who would like to take some online courses.

A: Congress didn’t pass a statute per se, but did include a clause for extending benefits past your expiration date, if you were prevented from attending classes due to a disability. The exact wording from the Chapter 30 Pamphlet is “We can extend your 10-year period by the amount of time you were prevented from training during that period because of a disability . . .”

However, with that said, the burden of proof that you were not well enough to go to school is on you. The VA has very precise and extensive requirements including:
• The type of disability.
• The exact beginning and ending dates, in mm-dd-yyyy format, of when you were disabled and could not attend classes.
• The reason(s) you were unable to go to school.
• The type of each job you worked during your disability period.
• The name and address of each employer, along with the beginning and ending dates and weekly hours worked at each job.

As far as medical proof, they require:
• Your doctor’s diagnosis and treatment.
• How long you’ve had the disability.
• The exact beginning and ending dates of your disability that prevented you from going to school.
• Any other medical evidence such as hospital or lab reports which would further substantiate your MGIB extension claim.

Yes, I know it is a lot of paperwork, but you have to jump through their hoop if you have any chance at an extension at all. Good luck!

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