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GI Bill Eligibility

To be eligible to use GI Bill benefits you must have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard for at least 90 days and have been honorably discharged. How much money you are eligible for through the GI Bill depends on how long you served. If you served for 36 months of active duty (3 years) you are eligible to receive full benefits from the GI Bill. If you served more than 90 days but less than three years you are eligible for a portion of the benefits starting at 40% and increasing on a sliding scale according to how long you served.

After 9/11/2001, an update was passed to the original Montgomery GI Bill giving veterans with active duty service on or after 9/11/2001 more benefits. This new bill is referred to as the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Full and partial benefits are calculated depending on whether you were discharged before or after 9/11/2001. Moreover, any service member eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill on or after August 1, 2009 can transfer unused GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependent. This new benefit is called TEB and there is a list of additional criteria to meet before your family members are eligible to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. TEB restrictions favor servicemen or women who have served upwards of six years in the military. Despite the somewhat complicated rules, TEB basically translates into free educational funds for your family. This is a huge new bonus to the already much improved Post 9/11 GI Bill.

If you served prior to 9/11/2001, you have ten years from your discharge date to use you GI Bill benefits or they disappear. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you have 15 years after the time of discharge to use your benefits.

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