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Who is Eligible for GI Bill Benefits

February 22, 2012

Veterans account for a high amount of the unemployed population. When transitioning back into civilian life, many do not take full advantage of the G.I. Bill because they simply don’t know all of the benefits or they encounter problems trying to get these benefits because of lost paperwork or issues with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It’s important to understand that if you are eligible, you should be receiving your benefits as promised. In truth, you may qualify for even more benefits than you realize and have enough money to cover your tuition, fees, books, supplies and living costs.

Post-9/11 G.I. Bill

In 2008, this new G.I. Bill sought to help active duty servicemen and veterans gain a higher education. The bill pays for tuition, fees, and living expenses for mostly any type of education. To be eligible for this bill, you need to have served a minimum of 30 days continuously in active duty service after September 10th, 2001, and you must also have received an honorable discharge or discharge because of a service-related injury. Furthermore, you are eligible if you were released from the Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable and placed on the retired list, temporarily disability retired list, or transferred to the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve. You may also be eligible if you were released from the Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable for further service in a reserve component. Talking to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs can help figure out any problems with your eligibility. However, it is very difficult to get these benefits if you were not honorably discharged.

Montgomery G.I. Bill

The Montgomery G.I. Bill is a little different from Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. You qualify if you contribute $100 a month for the first 12 months you are in active duty or if you qualify under the VEAP conversion. You also qualify if you have completed a high school diploma or received a GED. You need to have served two years of active duty. The payments from Montgomery G.I. Bill are determined by your student status (whether you’re half or full time), and your duty status. In most cases, you will be a full time student if you take 12 or more credits per semester.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill also has other benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program. This program helps students take out some of the cost from tuition and fees associated with education programs that cost more than the allowances on the G.I. bill’s tuition benefit. You qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program if you served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10th, 2001 of at least 36 months, you were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and have served a minimum of 30 continuous days after September 10, 200, or you are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility listed above.

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