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If I Exhaust My Benefits Mid-Semester, Will the VA Pay for the Whole Semester?

Q: I am about to run out of benefits and want to start a new semester. When I start I will only have 1 month left before my 3 years. I was wondering if the GI Bill will pay through the whole semester or will I have to pay the remainder. — Jody

A: Yes, the VA will pay for you to finish the semester. I can’t tell if you are using the MGIB or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but let me suggest something.

If you are using the MGIB, and you have three years of active duty service after September 10, 2001, you would qualify for up to an additional 12 months of benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The way to do it is to exhaust your MGIB benefits first and then switch to the New GI Bill. The VA would subtract the amount of benefits they paid for you after you ran out of your MGIB from your additional 12 months under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and you could use the rest.

If you switch before exhausting your MGIB benefits, then you only get the same number of months you had left on your MGIB; it is called the Rule of 48. If you qualify for two GI Bills, you can get up to a total of 48 months.

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