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As a Commissioned Officer, Do I Have Any Options to Transfer Montgomery GI Bill Benefits to My Wife?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I enlisted in 1986 and paid my $1,200 for the MGIB. I used 28 months of benefits during college and was commissioned in 1996. I have remained on active duty up to the present. My wife is pursuing her master’s degree. Do I have any options to transfer my benefits to her?

A: Yes you do have an option, but it isn’t with the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). The reason you can’t transfer MGIB benefits to her is because that GI Bill does not have a transfer-of-benefits option to it.

However, because you have served for at least three years on active duty after September 10, 2001, you also qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill which does have a transfer option. But just so you know, you would only have 8 months of benefits that you could give her.

Under the New GI Bill if you switch with MGIB benefits left, all you get is that same number of months; in your case the 8 MGIB months you currently have left.

To transfer your remaining benefits to her, you still have to be on active duty and have at least enough time remaining to get the transfer approved. If you meet that requirement, then go to the milConnect website and follow the instructions in the Transfer of Benefits Section. Keep checking back at the TEB website and look for a status change to “Transfer Approved”.

Once that happens, then your wife can go to the eBenefits website and request her Certificate of Eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990e. She will need her certificate when enrolling in school as a GI Bill student using transferred benefits.

Just so you know, if you try and make a transfer request after August 1st, you would automatically have to serve another four years in uniform. If you make your request before that date, you are already “retirement eligible” and no additional service would be required.

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