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Expiration Dates For VA Benefits

VA benefits come in a variety of different options. There are education benefits, disability benefits, VA healthcare benefits, help for those who are caregivers to disabled veterans, and even assistance traveling to and from VA appointments.

  • Some VA benefits never expire. they last until the veteran dies, there is a change in the conditions that justified the benefit, etc.
  • Other VA benefits have fixed start and stop dates. For example, if you are an active duty service member, you may have VA education benefits that allow you to apply once you have finished your initial training and are in your first duty station.
  • You may also have VA benefits that address your employability once you have retired or separated from military service. You may qualify for benefits that are dependent on your status as an active duty service member or a veteran.

There are also VA benefits that have expiration dates. For example, under the GI Bill at one time you only had 10 years to use the benefit once you left military service.

Today those rules are radically different, but many VA benefits do have expiration dates depending on when you applied for the benefit and when it was approved.

Expiration Dates For VA Benefits

The Post-9/11 GI Bill Expiration Dates

VA.gov states that for those with military service ending before January 1, 2013, Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits expire 15 years after leaving the military. This is a use-or-lose benefit. For those who left the service on or after January 1, 2013, the GI Bill does NOT expire.

Read more: Post 9/11 GI Bill Application Guide For Active Duty and Veterans

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Expiration Dates

VA.gov notes that the MGIB typically expires 10 years from your departure from military service, but this may be subject to change depending on status.

For those using the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve, (MGIB-SR) it is possible to qualify 14 years from the date of your first 6-year military service commitment if any of the following apply:

  • You separated because of a disability OR;
  • Your unit was deactivated between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2014, OR;
  • You involuntarily separated between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2014

Those eligible for the MGIB-SR may have their GI Bill expiration dates extended if called to active duty with the Guard or Reserve. In such cases your benefits are extended for the duration of duty plus four additional months.

Read more: The Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty

Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) VA Benefit Expiration Dates

Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) is the VA benefits program formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.

Currently serving service members and veterans with disabilities caused or made worse by military service which limits your ability to find or keep a job may qualify you for VR&E.

VR&E expiration dates may depend on when you were discharged from military service. If your discharge from active duty service happened before 2013, you have a basic eligibility period of 12 years from:

  • The date you got a date of separation from active duty, or
  • The date you got your first VA service-connected disability rating.

For those discharged from active duty on or after January 1, 2013, there is NO TIME LIMIT or expiration of benefits.

Read more: What is the Veterans Readiness and Employment Program?

Combat Veterans Healthcare Benefits Expiration Date

VA.gov offers combat veterans certain benefits upon returning from combat. To qualify:

  • You served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, and
  • You were discharged or released from active service on or after January 29, 2003, and
  • You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge

You may qualify for free VA healthcare for 10 years following your date of discharge.

Post-Discharge Dental Care Benefit Expiration Date

Veterans may qualify for “one-time dental treatment” in cases where the veteran had no access or was not provided a dental exam within 90 days of separation or retirement. This option is good for 180 days after separation.

Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Coverage Expiration Dates

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance is a life insurance program offering life insurance coverage in $50,000 increments up to a maximum of $400 thousand. This coverage expires 120 days after military retirement or separation.

Read more: Who is Eligible For Servicemembers Group Life Insurance?

Family Group Life Insurance Coverage Expiration Dates

This group insurance coverage is offered up to $100,000 for spouses and children of service members insured under SGLI. This benefit typically expires 120 days after retirement/separation.

Veterans Group Life Insurance Coverage Expiration Dates

VGLI offers life insurance coverage up to $400,000 in renewable term life insurance. This coverage also expires 120 days following military retirement or separation.

Read more: Veterans Group Life Insurance Overview

Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance Coverage Expiration Dates

Vets with service-connected disabilities may qualify for up to $10,000 in life insurance coverage, with waived premiums offered to vets who are 100% service-disabled. This benefit typically expires within two years of notification of the disability rating of 100%.

Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance Deadline

This is not an expiration date; it’s an application deadline. VMLI offers up to $90,000 in mortgage protection insurance, designed for disabled veterans who have received grants for Specially-Adapted Housing from VA. You must apply for this program before reaching age 70.

About the author

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Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.