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With a General Discharge, What Conditions Allow Me to Use My GI Bill Benefits?

Q: I have a question – I was discharged with a General discharge. What are the conditions which would make me eligible for G.I. Bill benefits? Like I know hardship is one, but what were all the others? I am just curious I need more info on who exactly is eligible.

A: You are confusing apples with oranges. Let me explain. There is a difference between being eligible for GI Bill benefits and being able to use GI Bill benefits.

For example, you may still have the eligibility for benefits if you were if you were separated early for one of the following reasons:

Convenience of the Government

You must have 30 months of continuous active duty if your obligation was 3 or more years.

You must have 20 months of continuous active duty if your obligation was less than 3 years.

Service-connected disability.


A medical condition that you had before service.

A physical or mental condition that interfered with performance of duty and didn’t result from misconduct on your part.


A certain reductions in force.

However, with anything but a fully Honorable discharge you would not be able to use your benefits – you still have them, you just can’t use them.

If you were able to get your discharge upgraded to Honorable, you would then be able to use the benefits that were waiting for you (provided they hadn’t expired yet.)

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