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Can I Transfer My Remaining Unused GI Bill Benefits to My Wife?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I served nine years in the Marine Corps from 1999 to 2008. I used my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits for roughly a year. I am inquiring as to whether my remaining benefits could be transferred to my spouse and if so would she receive BAH while attending college. Thank you in advance for any light you can shed on this subject.

A: If you used your GI Bill benefits for a year, then you should have about 24 months left, however you will not be able to transfer them to your spouse. The way Congress wrote the rules for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the servicemember had to be on active duty “on or after August 1, 2009”. By that time, you had already been out for a year.

If you would have been able to transfer benefits to your spouse, she would have received the full housing allowance if she would have taken at least one class per term in a traditional classroom setting and carried enough credits to be a greater-than-half-time student. The rest of her classes per term could have been taken online and she still would have gotten the housing allowance.

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