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Can I Use the GI Bill If My Husband Was Active Duty and Is Still in the Reserves?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I use the GI Bill if my husband was active duty and is still in the reserves? Also, if he retires while I am still in school, do the benefits cease? Thank you!

A: You pose an interesting question here, because there is confusion among Selected Reservists as far as which GI Bill expires when. The easy answer is the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR) expires 10 years from the Notice of Eligibility or if the member has served for more than 10 years, upon discharge. So once the servicemember is out of the Guard or Reserves, their GI Bill benefits expire. However, this GI Bill does not have a transfer benefit option to it.

The other two GI Bills, Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and the Post 9/11 GI Bill both are good after retiring. The MGIB-AD has a 10-year delimitation date with the Post 9/11 GI Bill having a 15-year limit. The time clock on both GI Bills start on the date of the last discharge.

So the answer to your first question is yes – you can still use the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits he transferred to you while on active duty even if he is now in the Reserves. I know you have the Post 9/11 GI Bill because the MGIB-AD does not have a transfer option to it either.

The answer to your second question is no, the benefits you are using do not cease if he retires, however, you are held to the 15-year delimitation date just as he is if he were using the benefits.

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