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Will My GI Bill Quit Paying Mid-Semester When My Benefits End?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was awarded the 12-month extension using the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Now I’m applying for a certification program that takes 11 months, but I only have 3 months of benefits remaining on the Post 9/11 program.

I was approved for the program by the VA, I received a letter in the mail stating so. My question is will I receive benefits for the entire 11 months for the certification program, even though I only have 3 months of benefits remaining? I was told by a VA rep once that the GI Bill will continue to pay benefits up until your graduation date. Is this statement true or accurate?

A: No, that statement is neither true or accurate. If your benefits run out in the middle of a term, they will keep paying you up to the end of that term. Then you have exhausted your benefits and they will stop paying.

If you had been going under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), and were eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, it is handled somewhat differently. Then, if you exhaust your MGIB mid-term, the VA will “loan” you the number of months and days you need to finish the term, and then deduct this amount from the additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. But because you already switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your benefits will just end at the end of the term.

Comments  (6)

My post 9/11 was discontinued and this is my senior year of college. It was stated that I would receive benefits but the school VA told me I had no more benefits. What should I do?

posted by Shawn Morrison
3:25 pm on January 19, 2011

I’m not sure what you mean when you say “discontinued”. Usually that means one of two things. Either you used up all your months of benefits or you hit your delimiting date of 15 years from your date of discharge. I don’t believe the later is the case as it has not been 15 years since the Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility began, so I would say you used up all your months of benefit.

Normally, with 36 months of benefits, you have enough to go for four 9-month academic years or enough to get a four-year degree. If you chose to use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits during your semester breaks to get the interval pay, then you used up your benefits at a greater rate than if you would not have taken the interval pay. That could account as one reason why you ran out. Another reason could be if you had the MGIB, used some of your months and then switched to the post 9/11 GI Bill, you might have started with less than enough Post 9/11 GI Bill months to finish up your degree.

I suggest you go back through your usage and figure out how many months you used. The VA is more than likely correct and you probably have exhausted your entitlements. If you find you should have months left, then contact the VA and inquire as to why there is a difference between what you think you used and what they say you used.


posted by Ron Kness
12:32 pm on January 21, 2011

I have seven days left on my Post 9/11 GI BIll and will have exhausted my benefits before the end of the semester. Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill continue to pay the BAH for the term or will it stop as soon as the seventh day hits? Please let me know.

posted by Lupe
4:10 pm on February 12, 2012

It should stop when you hit the end of your seven days.

posted by Ron Kness
11:35 am on February 19, 2012

The educational benefit Montgomery GI Bill-Selective Reserve (Chapter 1606) stops when your entitlement runs out. The educational benefit Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) allows you to complete the term. The ambiguity of using just the acronym MGIB is probably causing the confusion of information. The unspoken rule is when you simply refer to MGIB, most believe you are speaking of Chapter 30. When speaking of MGIB-Selective Reserve, most simply ask about 1606 or Chapter 1606.

posted by John
6:40 pm on September 30, 2013

John is right – your MGIB-SR benefit stops once you are out of entitlement.

posted by Ron Kness
10:38 am on October 14, 2013
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