If I ETS In September, Can I Use the Post 9/11 GI Bill in August?
Q: Hello, I am currently on active duty. I know I fall under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and so forth. I am currently on stop-loss and I am due to ETS on Sept 14 of this year . We come back on the in July and we get 60 days to get out. My school semester starts in August. Will I be covered under the GI Bill for anything since I will be on terminal leave and can’t do the tuition assistance or anything?
A: Yes, you can use your Post 9/11 GI Bill in August. You do not have to use Tuition Assistance even now; if you are on active duty, it usually makes more sense to use it now and save your GI Bill for when you are out, but many use a combination of Tuition Assistance and Tuition Top-Up which comes out of a soldier’s GI Bill entitlements.
So you can start your school application when ever you want. The VA is currently running about 10-12 weeks behind in processing Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit applications, so start early – 3 to 4 months – before your school starts. If you have your Certificate of Eligibility, most schools do not make you pay tuition up front, but some do and then give it back to you once they are paid by the VA. The earlier you get started, the more chance everything will be in place when you need it.