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Does My Husband Have Benefits He Can Transfer to His Children?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

My husband served honorably 20 years in the Georgia Army National Guard. He was called to serve on active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom in February 2003 and served 15 months straight thru returning home April 2005. He retired with 20 years in 2006 after being honorably discharged from active duty (DD Form-214). Is he eligible for REAP, MGIB or the transferability of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to our children?

The only GI Bill that has any transfer benefits is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. While your husband does qualify for it with his OIF deployment, he won’t be able to make a transfer of benefits to his children as that has to be done while he is still in the military; after discharge, it is too late. However, he can use the 36 months of education benefits himself.

Something you should also know is there is a bill in the House right now (H.R. 3577) that if passed, it would give Armed Forces veterans retiring between December 9, 2001 and August 1, 2009 with 20 years or more of service, the option to make a transfer of benefits. The way Congress wrote the Post 9/11 GI Bill, servicemembers had to be on active duty “on or after August 1, 2009”. Well by that time, your husband had been out for three years. For right now, this is the only chance he will have to make a transfer as that is the only bill offering this opportunity.

Make your voice heard by contacting your Representatives and ask for their support and passage of this bill. Thousands of veterans are in this same boat – they fully qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill including the transfer option, but were denied a transfer-of-benefits opportunity due to the way Congress wrote the New GI Bill.

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