Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) recently introduced the GI Bill For Life Act, which would eliminate the expiration date for veterans to use their Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits. A similar piece of legislation is set to be proposed to the House by House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA). Currently, eligible veterans have 10 years from their separation date to use their MGIB benefits – or they expire.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 30% of all eligible veterans do not use any of their GI Bill benefits before the 10 year expiration date. A great portion of those who use some of their MGIB benefits are not able to use their entire benefits before they expire.
I think this piece of legislation would be heartily embraced by veterans everywhere. Military members pay $1200 to buy into the GI Bill, then they have a time limit in which to use the benefits they paid for.
The original intent of the GI Bill was to provide military veterans a means to obtain an education outside of their military training. While it is still possible to use your GI Bill benefits, it is much more difficult now for many people to go to school directly after separating from the military. Many people have bills to pay and families to feed and full-time school is just not feasible for many. Removing the expiration date from benefits will allow many people to provide for themselves and their families, then go to school when it is either better or easier for them to do so.
This could just be more political posturing, but I think it would be nice to see this go through.
Source: Military.com – Congress Seeks to Eliminate GI Bill Time Limit.