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How Long Does It Take for Me to Receive My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: After I ETS, how long will it take for me to receive my GI Bill?

A: It somewhat depends on when you apply. If you were to do it now, it most likely would take longer, because the VA always gets behind in processing applications during the Fall Term.

This time of year it could take up to 8 weeks to get, however, most of the rest of the year, it shouldn’t take that long. Regardless of when you get out, if you have as much percentage as you are going to get, I would apply now. That way you may have your Certificate of Eligibility by the time you get out.

To apply, send in VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website. Once you have your certificate, then you can enroll in school. Your school will send in a Certificate of Enrollment on your behalf once you are registered.

After the VA processes your paperwork they received from your school and paperwork from all other schools, then they start the payment process and you will begin receiving your GI Bill payments. So realistically, it depends on how many applications the VA receives and how long it takes them to process them. Once all applications are processed, they start the payment process, so it could take up to a couple of months before you see your first payment.

If you will be using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then the VA will pay your school directly for your tuition and fees. You will get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend. If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill, then you get a monthly amount and you have to pay all your own education expenses including tuition, fees, books, etc.

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