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Can I Transfer My GI Bill to My Two-Year Old Daughter?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I served on active duty in the Navy from December 10, 1992 to June 1, 2003. I am a resident of Illinois and have been utilizing my Illinois Veteran’s Scholarship Fund to cover my tuition while attending school part time over the past few years. I haven’t used any of my MGIB benefit and am curious if I am eligible to switch it to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and transfer it to my 2 year old daughter for when she attends school down the road. Is this something that I am eligible for and does this seem like the best course to take?

Unfortunately, you don’t qualify for the 100% tier of  the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which is one of the requirements to be able to transfer benefits. With 20 months of qualifying service after September 10, 2001, you could switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and use your benefits at the 70% level.

But it really doesn’t matter, because even if you:

  • were at the 100% level;
  • had the six years of active duty service, with at least three years after September 10, 2001;
  • and had agreed to serve an additional four years, you would not have been on active duty on or after August 1, 2009, which is what the rules state to transfer benefits.

I do have one concern though as to how you are using your education benefits. Your Montgomery GI Bill has a 10-year delimiting date and the clock started on your discharge date in 2003, so your MGIB education benefits will expire in 2013.

From what I can tell, your State benefits don’t have an expiration date, so I think a better course of action may be to use your MGIB first and then your State benefits. That way you would get almost three years of use out of your MGIB before it expires and you could finish off your education with your State Veterans Benefits.

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