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How Do I Transfer Benefits to My 23-Year and 26-Year Old Sons?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am an active duty Soldier with 18-years time in service. I would like to transfer my GI Bill benefits to my 23 year old or 26 year old step-son. What are the requirements to be able to do this and who do I have to see to do it?

A: First, it won’t do your 26-year old son any good because that is the upper age where unused benefits are lost. Your 23-year old, however, does have a couple of years left to use transferred benefits.

To transfer benefits, you have to have the Post 9/11 GI Bill. You did not mention which GI Bill you had, but the Montgomery GI Bill does not have a transfer option. To access the New GI Bill transfer option, you have to have at least six years of active duty and sign up for an additional four years. If you are within four years of retirement, the amount of additional time is prorated down.

To make a transfer request, go to the TEB Website and enter the number of months you want to transfer to your son. You will have to figure out how many months he will be able to use between now and his 26th birthday. Once the request is approved, he will have to fill out VA Form 22-1990e at the VONAPP website. He will get back a Certificate of Eligibility that he will need when he enrolls in school.

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