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Since I Will Run Out of Benefits Before Graduation, Will the VA Still Pay Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I take online classes and my GI Bill has 2 months and 28 days left as of 27 June 2011 before it is all used. I will finish my degree in Aug 2012. Since my GI Bill will run out before my graduation time, is there a way for the VA to continue paying for my college degree?

A: There may be, depending on which GI Bill you are now using, and if you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) now, but you served at least 90-days after September 10, 2001 on active duty or a Title 10 order, you may be eligible for an additional 12 months of education benefits. How you would do that is to exhaust your MGIB benefits first, and then send in VA Form 1990 from the eBenefits website.

The percentage of pay for those additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefit will depend on how much qualifying time you served. The 90 days I mentioned before would get you 40% of the full amount, while three years after the September date would get you to the 100% mark.

Also, just so you know, if you run out of your MGIB mid-semester, the VA will continue paying you either through the end of the semester or for up to 12 weeks, whichever is less. If you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, they would continue paying you and then deduct that amount of entitlement from your additional 12 months of benefits.

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