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Is There Anything I Can Do to Regain Any GI Bill Benefits Whatsoever after They Have Expired?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I am veteran of the first Gulf War (6 months). I served active duty from Sep 89, to Sep 92. I used some of my GI Bill benefits, but don’t think I used all of the benefits. Now I have read a few of your responses to the same question, but is there “anything” I can do to regain any benefits whatsoever? Do they expire if you don’t use them at all, or does it not matter how much or little you’ve used? Please help?

A: The short answers to your questions are no, yes and no. There really isn’t anything you can do to regain your Montgomery GI Bill benefits short of getting back in for at least a 90-day period. That would reset your delimitation date to a new 10-year period from your new date of discharge.

MGIB benefits expire 10 years from your date of discharge so yours ended in September 2002 regardless if you used all, some or none.

But getting back in would also provide another GI Bill benefit – partial coverage under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. A 90-day period would give you an additional 12 months of entitlement at 40% eligibility that you could use after exhausting your 36 months of MGIB.

While the MGIB pays you a fixed amount and you have to pay all of your own educational expenses, under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays 40% of your tuition directly to your school. You would get 40% of both the monthly housing allowance and book stipend.You would be responsible however, to pay the other 60%, but in the end it would give you 48 months of coverage instead of just 36.

Short of enlisting for active duty for at least 90 days, there isn’t anything else you could do to regain your GI Bill benefits.

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