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What Happens If My GI Bill Benefits Run Out Mid-Semester?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If a student had been taking classes at a half time-plus rate (7 credits) and at some point of his academic career, was coming up on a semester whereby he only had 3.5 months worth of benefits left to tackle a 5-month semester, how would the benefits be distributed? Would the BAH just run out or would all benefits somehow become exhausted halfway through (even though the tuition has already been paid for via the G.I. Bill)? Thank you again for your time and knowledge. Your work is greatly appreciated.

A: If you exhaust your benefits mid-way through a semester, the VA’s policy is to run you though the end of that semester, so your housing allowance should be for the whole semester. If you were using the Montgomery GI Bill, and qualified for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then the VA would “loan” you the time you needed, in months and days, to finish that term and then they would deduct that same amount from your Post 9/11 GI Bill additional months. Being you are already using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, consider it a “gift”.

There is one instance when the VA will quit paying mid-term – if you hit your delimiting date. By law they can not extend you past that date. Even if you have benefits left when you hit your 15-year mark, they quit paying and you lose any remaining unused benefits.

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