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Getting a GI Bill extension

If you were discharged before January 1, 2013, your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits expire 15 years after you separated from the military. Montgomery GI Bill benefits expire 10 years after you separate from the military. But you may qualify for an extension of these benefits. Keep reading on this page to learn about eligibility for a GI Bill extension and how to request it.

Eligibility for a GI Bill extension

You may qualify for a GI Bill extension if one of these is true:

  • You served a later period of active duty of 90 consecutive days or more (meaning that after you applied for GI Bill benefits, you served 90 days or more without a break in service), or
  • You have an illness or disability that prevented you from attending school, or
  • You were held by a foreign government or power after your last discharge or release from active duty

How to request an extension

If you served a later period of active duty

Send us a letter to request your extension.

Include one of these documents:

  • A copy of your orders to report for active duty, or
  • A copy of your DD214 or other discharge papers

Mail your documents to your local Regional Processing Office. 

Find a Regional Processing Office

If your illness or disability prevented you from attending school

Send us a letter to request your extension.

Include this information in your letter:  

  • The type of illness or disability that prevented you from attending school, and
  • The start and end dates of the time period when you couldn’t attend school because of your disability (write the dates like this: mm-dd-yyyy), and
  • The reasons you couldn’t start or continue an education program

Include a description of each job you held during this time period when you couldn’t attend school because of your disability. 

List this information for each job:

  • The type of job, and
  • The employer’s name and address, and
  • The employment start and end dates (write the dates like this: mm-dd-yyyy), and
  • The number of hours per week you worked

Also include a statement from your doctor during this time period.

Your doctor’s statement should include these details:

  • Your diagnosis and treatment, and
  • How long you’ve had your illness or disability, and
  • The start and end dates of the time period when your disability prevented you from attending school (write the dates like this: mm-dd-yyyy), and
  • Medical evidence like test results and hospital reports

Mail your documents to your local Regional Processing Office.

Find a Regional Processing Office

If you were held by a foreign government

Send us a letter to request your extension. Please include the start and end dates of the time period when you couldn’t attend school because you were being held by a foreign government. Write the dates like this: mm-dd-yyyy.

The GI Bill STEM extension

The Edith Nourse Rogers Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Scholarship can help you extend your Post-9/11 GI Bill or Fry Scholarship benefits to get additional training in a high-demand STEM field. If you’re currently enrolled in an undergraduate STEM degree program or if you have a STEM degree and you’re working toward a teaching certification, you may be eligible.

Learn about the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship


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Related information

VA benefits

  • Education and training

    Apply for and manage your GI Bill and other education benefits to help pay for college and training programs.

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