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Am I Eligible to Transfer My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Daughters?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have 21 years of combined military experience and reside in the state of CT. 1989-1993 Active Army (Desert Shield Desert Storm Vet and went to school under the GI Bill/Army College Fund. 1993-1996 CT Army National Guard. 1999-present Army Reserves TPU with 2 tours to Iraq. Am I eligible for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill? If so, can I transfer these benefits to my two daughters so they can attend college? I am enlisted, currently an E-8 and plan to remain in the Army Reserves at least 9 more years.

A: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that with your 2 tours in Iraq, you have some eligibility under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. How much? Well it depends on the length of your deployments.

Assuming they were one year each in length, you would have 80% eligibility with 24 months of eligible service, meaning the VA would pay 80% of the tuition and the benefit user would get 80% of both the monthly housing allowance and book stipend. If your tours were less than 24 months, but more than 18 months, then you would be at the 70% tier.

The bad news is if you transfer your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your daughters, you would either have only the number of months you had left under your original GI Bill, or if you used up those 36 months, 12 months of eligibility that you could transfer and split between them. Why?

Because under the Rule of 48, if you are eligible for two or more GI Bills, the maximum number of combined months of benefits is capped at 48. So if you used your 36 months of MGIB you earned from active duty, then you can only get 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility. If you did not use up your full 36 months of MGIB, then the most you can get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill is that same number of months you had left under the MGIB.

However, regardless of what you have, you can transfer them to your daughters. Just be aware that each daughter won’t get many months.

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