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Can I Use My Husband’s Post 9/11 GI Bill for a Six-Month Course?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am an Army wife, I’m wondering if my husband can still use the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit when he transfer it to me? Is there an option to transfer all or just some of the benefits? How many months of assistance can we receive and is it for the two of us or for each of us? I wanted to take a six-month course online. Can I use the new GI Bill for that?

A: First, check with the VA to see if they will pay for you to take the course you want.  Being it is six-months, I doubt if you are getting a degree from it and the Post 9/11 GI Bill generally does not pay for non-degree programs (unless they are taught through a degree-producing school). Is that confusing enough? If not, I’ll try again!

If the VA will pay for your course, then once your husband is at the Transfer Eligibility of Benefits (TEB) website, he has the option to transfer as many, or all, of his 36 months of GI Bill benefits. If he transfer all of them, then he has none for himself to use.  If he transfers enough for you to take your course, he always has the option to go back in and give you more, so it is not a one-time thing.

Keep in mind, he has to make the transfer while he is still serving; once he is out, it is too late. But, if you go to school while he is serving, you will get only your tuition paid, and you won’t get housing allowance (because you are getting BAH) or book stipend. You wouldn’t get it anyway as online-only student do not qualify for the allowance.

If you both wait to go school after he is out, you will both get your tuition paid for. If you are both attending online, each take one class per term, applying to each of your degrees and you will both get the housing allowance and book stipend. Of course, if you  are taking resident courses, then you would both get the housing allowance and book stipend.

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