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Can I Use the Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits and Transfer My Montgomery GI Bill to My Spouse/Dependents?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I use the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and transfer my MGIB to my spouse/dependent?

A:Most likely not and here is why – generally speaking, the Montgomery GI Bill never had a transfer of benefits option. The Air Force and Army each ran a short transfer of benefits pilot program, however, each branch soon gave up the endeavor because of lack of participation.

Part of that disinterest was that military members had to “buy” the transfer privileges by re-enlisting for a specified time. While the Air Force program did include both dependents and spouses, the Army program only included spouses.

You may, however, have Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility where you would switch from the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and transfer benefits to your spouse and/or dependents or both.

To be eligible, you have to have served for at least six years after September 10, 2001, be currently serving at the time you make your transfer request and agree to serve an additional four years (unless your current enlistment takes you out to “retirement eligible” status, in which case the amount of future service required is reduced).

Just one note on switching GI Bills – while switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill could give you the transfer of benefits option, you give up all your rights to the MGIB when you do so.

So to answer your question, no you can’t use your Post 9/11 GI Bill and give your MGIB to dependents, nor could you use your MGIB and give your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependents. However, you could switch to the New GI Bill (if eligible), transfer some benefits to dependents and both of you use your benefits at the same time.

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