Do Veterans Benefits Expire?

Pile of cash sitting atop a calendar

Did you know that many of your VA benefits have an expiration date?

If not, you are not alone.

Most veterans aren't aware of their benefits, let alone that many of them can expire.

Although these deadlines are generally set in stone, the VA has provisions to waive them if you have a legitimate reason for not applying before the given deadlines.

These may include health and disability issues. However the VA will not waive a time limit for not knowing the deadline for your benefits.

Here are some quick examples of common VA benefits and their time limits:

VA Benefit

Time Limit

Education Benefits 
Post-9/11 GI Bill: The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides 36 months of education, training, and OJT benefits to eligible veterans. The full in-state tuition and fees are covered at public schools. for private schools there is an annual maximum amount that is inflation adjusted. The Post-9/11 GI Bill also pays a housing allowance based on the E-5 with dependents BAH rate for the location of the school, and an annual $1,000 for books and supplies.

15 years from date of last discharge or release from active duty if you were discharged before Jan. 1, 2013. 

If you were discharged after that date there is no expiration date.

Montgomery GI Bill for Active-Duty (MGIB): MGIB provides 36 months of education, training, and OJT benefits to eligible veterans. Payment rates are determined by the number of classes taken.10 years from date of last discharge or release from active duty.
Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR): Provides members of the Reserves, and National Guard with up to 36 months of education, training, and OJT benefits.14 years from the date of eligibility for the program, or until released from the Selected Reserve or National Guard. Some extensions available if activated.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VocRehab): An employment oriented program for veterans with service-connected disabilities that offers services and assistance to help prepare for, find and keep suitable employment.Generally, 12 years of separation from service or within 12 years of being awarded service-connected VA disability compensation.
VA Life Insurance Programs 
Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI): Life insurance for servicemembers and reservists. It is available in $50,000 increments up to a maximum of $400,000. SGLI coverage begins when the servicemember enters service or changes duty status. This includes the Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) program, which provides up to $100,000 in additional coverage in case of sever traumatic injury.Coverage ends 120 days after separation.
Can be extended up to 1 year for totally disabled veterans.
More details...
Family Group Life Insurance (FGLI): Automatically provides up to $100,000 in coverage for the spouse and children of servicemembers insured under SGLI.Coverage ends 120 days after separation.
Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI ): Offers up to $400,000 in renewable term life insurance ( 5-year term) for veterans. Servicemembers who wish to, may convert their SGLI to Veterans Group Life VGLI.Within 120 days of separation.
Service Disabled Veterans Insurance (SDVI): A veteran who has a service-connected disability but is otherwise in good health may apply to VA for up to $10,000 in life insurance coverage at standard rates. Veterans who are totally disabled may apply for a waiver of premiums.Within 2 years from the date of being notified of service-connected status.
Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI): Offers $90,000 in mortgage protection insurance to severely disabled veterans who have received grants for Specially-Adapted Housing from VA.Must apply before age 70.
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Programs 
Veterans Health care: VA provides a wide range of health care services to veterans including treatment for military sexual trauma, and for conditions possibly related to exposure to Agent Orange, ionizing radiation, and other environmental hazards in the Persian Gulf. Generally, veterans must be enrolled in VAA?s Health Care System to receive care.No Time Limit
Combat Veterans Health care: VA provides combat veterans free health care for any illness possibly associated with service against a hostile force in a war since the Gulf War or during any period of hostility after Nov. 11, 1998.5 Years from release from active-duty
Dental Treatment:
Veterans may receive one-time dental treatment who were not provided dental examination or treatment within 90 days of discharge or separation from service.
Within 180 days of separation.
VA Pension and Compensation 
Disability Compensation: VA pays monthly compensation (tax-free) to veterans for disabilities incurred or aggravated during military service. Entitlement is established from the date of separation if the claim is filed within one year from separation.No Time Limit
Disability Pension: This income-based benefit is paid to veterans with honorable war-time service who are permanently and totally disabled due to non-service connected disabilities or who are 65 or older.No Time Limit
VA Home Loan Guaranty Program 
VA Home Loan: The VA Home Loan Guarantee Program offers Veterans the chance to purchase a home at a low interest rate without the need of a down payment.
Click here to get started using your VA Home Loan benefit.
No Time Limit

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