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How Long Before My Husband Can Transfer GI Bill Benefits to Me?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband went into the Army on June 24, 2008. When would I, being his spouse, be eligible for the transfer of the GI Bill?

A: It is going to be awhile before you will be able to use your husband’s Post 9/11 GI Bill. A servicemember has to serve at least six years on active duty (of which three years has to be after September 10, 2001) and sign up for an additional four years before the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer option becomes available.

Even after he is able to transfer entitlements to you, he has to serve a minimum of ten years before you can use your transferred entitlements. So it will be another 3 ½ years before he can make a transfer and about another 6 ½ years before you will be able to use them.

Your husband becomes eligible for the minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit (40% tier) with as little as 90 days of service, but he won’t get the full benefit (100%) until he has served at least three years, except for the transfer benefit. The military is using the transfer benefit option as a retention tool, so that is the reason for the time-frames – to keep servicemembers in the military.

If you did not want to wait that long before starting school, there are some other Army Education Benefit alternatives to the GI Bill available to Army spouses.

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