For Your Benefit
For and about Hawaii's military Sunday, September 15, 2002
See also: In The Military
last 10 years after service
Question: I have been out of the military for more than 10 years. How do I get an extension to my GI Bill educational benefits?
Answer: Montgomery GI Bill benefits end 10 years from the date of your last discharge or release from active duty. If your benefits expire mid-term, your benefits are extended to the end of the term or semester. The delimiting date can be extended past your 10-year period if you were prevented from attending classes due to: a severe disability, or you were held against your will by a foreign government or power. The delimiting date is only extended by the amount of time you were prevented from attending classes.
The VA can also extend your 10-year period if you re-enter active duty for 90 days or more. The extension ends 10 years from the date of separation from the later period. Periods of active duty of less than 90 days can qualify you for extensions only if you were separated for a service-connected disability, a medical condition existing before active duty, hardship, or a reduction in force. If your benefit eligibility is based on two years of active duty and four years in the Selected Reserve, you have 10 years from your release from active duty, or 10 years from the completion of the four-year selected reserve obligation to use your benefits, whichever is later. For more information, call the VA at 433-1000.
Q: How do I get my disability compensation claim re-evaluated?
A: You can request a re-evaluation of your claim any time you believe your condition has changed or worsened. Submit the request to reopen or re-evaluate your claim to the VA's regional office in either letter or statement form or on VA Form 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim). Request should include the following information: name, claim number or Social Security number, day and evening contact information, current address, statement explaining change requested, and any new and pertinent medical evidence that supports your request. For additional information on re-evaluating your claim, contact the VA at 433-1000 or visit our Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran,
call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.
Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin,
can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.