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Am I Too Old to Use My Dad’s Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My father has been in the military for about 15 years now and is still active duty in Korea at the moment. I am 21, living on my own and recently decided to attend college. I was wondering if there is any way he can split his GI Bill between myself and my sister? I was told by a friend that once I became 21 I was no longer eligible, is this true?

A: I’m afraid your friend was right. Unless you are a full-time student at the time you turn 21, you no longer are considered an eligible dependent in DEERS at that age. If you are in school, then you can remain eligible to receive benefits until age 23 and you have until age 26 to use them.

So while you are no longer eligible, if your sister is under age 21 (23 if going to school), your dad could transfer some or all of his unused Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to her, provided he agrees to serve an additional four years or more. With 15 years in, he might as well extend out to 20 years.

Once the future service requirement is in place, then your dad can go to the Transfer of Benefits website and enter into your sister’s record how many months he would like to transfer to her. Once the request is approved (and it can take 8 to 10 weeks), then she will have to go to the eBenefits website and request her Certificate of Eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990e.

It is too bad, you decided to start school now and not before you turned 21. Your dad most likely has 36 months of benefit that he could have split between you and your sister. That was unfortunate timing.

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