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How Long Does It Take Before I See My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing and Book Stipend Money From the VA?

Q: I started school a little over a month ago. I have already received my explanation of benefits paperwork from the VA saying how much BAH I get per month, how much I get for books, etc. I still have not received any BAH or any payments whatsoever. Any idea what could be going on? I am currently on hold with the VA but its taking forever.

A: Unfortunately, you can be on hold for a long time when calling the VA. If you have only been in school only a month, you have some time yet before you can expect to see any GI Bill money. At the beginning of each semester, it can take 8 to 10 weeks before you see your first money. Then for the rest of the months in the semester, your money should come around the same time each month.

Then at the beginning of the new semester, the same process starts over again. The way the VA’s process works is that they have to process all applications first before they can start the payment cycle and at the beginning of most semesters, they are flooded with applications. For the rest of the months in that semester, not so much – which is why you get your money for those months sooner.

One other thing to know is that the Certificate of Enrollment your school submits on your behalf is what triggers payment. Once the VA receives that document, they check it against your eligibility to see if you have entitlement left. If your school is late in submitting the certificate, it can delay your payment also.

It is a good idea to have some funds saved back to tide you over during the “lean” times of a new semester. Then when you do start getting your Post 9/11 GI Bill payments, you can replenish your school fund account.

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