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Can I Still Collect GI Bill Benefits After My Delimiting Date?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I’m going back to college and was wondering if I will still be able to collect G.I. Bill benefits for the whole duration of my schooling, which is 18 months (2-year associate’s degree). The catch is that 2011 will be the ten-year mark from my honorable discharge from U.S. Marines.

Does that mean that my current college program will get covered only half-way or in other words exactly until the 10-year mark after separation? Or if I’m in college full time, I get some type of an extension until I finish my degree which will be in 2012 or 11 years after my honorable discharge? Would appreciate all the help I could get with this topic. Thank you

A: Unfortunately, it means at the ten-year mark your Montgomery GI Bill benefits will get cut-off. By regulation, the VA can not extend you beyond your delimiting date unless you were:

  • temporarily disabled or had a long-term illness preventing you from attending classes;
  • called back to active duty;
  • detained by a foreign power.

Of course, if you were recalled back to active duty, your delimiting date would automatically start from your latest date of discharge.

Running out of entitlement is treated differently than hitting a delimiting date. If you run out of GI Bill benefits mid-term, the VA will extend your benefits until the end of the term, i.e. quarter, semester, etc.

Because your GI Bill benefits will stop part way to your degree, I would start making financial arrangements now so you are financially prepared to pay your college expenses once your GI Bill benefits stop.

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