I didn’t use my GI Bill money within the 10 years [of separating from service] allotted to use it. Will I be getting a return of some type? - Jermaine


Generally speaking, this is a fine example of “use it or lose it.” Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. I’m afraid you’re out of luck. You will not be able to benefit from any refund or educational benefits. I hope others may be able to learn from your situation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is now offering a transformed and updated version of this wonderful servicemembers’ benefit. It’s known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These benefits are available for 15 years following release from active duty. With at least 90 days of service after Sept. 11, 2001, and an honorable discharge, this new GI Bill may be an option for our brothers in arms who separated from service in 2002 or later. According to the VA website (, a refund of the $1,200 buy-in for the MGIB is available if someone elects instead to use the entire Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit. However, simply not taking advantage of the MGIB in the allotted time, or not using 100 percent of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, would leave folks out in the cold.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Thank you for your service to our nation.