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If Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, How Do I Transfer Benefits to My Kids?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I enlisted in the USMCR in 1992 and enrolled in the Reserve MGIB; I used a portion of it throughout the 90’s but I do not think I used all of my benefits. I am currently deployed in Afghanistan, this will be my 3rd deployment as a reservist since 2004 and I will have right around 30 months of active duty service when complete here. I am looking into if I am eligible for the Post 911 GI Bill and if so, I want to transfer the benefits to my 2 children. I have many questions like, if eligible will it be for the full 36 months or less? What is the process of transfer, i.e. what steps do I need to take? I am clear that I will have to have at least 3 more years of service on contract at the time of transfer.

A: You are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. With 30 months of eligible service, you would be at the 90% tier, meaning the VA would pay 90% of your tuition, and you would get 90% of the housing allowance and book stipend. Your recipients would inherit that same percentage on a benefits transfer.

However, the sticking point could be that you have Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) benefits left. The most months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits you would get would be the same amount you have left under the MGIB-SR. But, you might as well make a transfer request and get what you can out of it because those MGIB-SR months expired long ago.

To make a transfer request, go to the milConnect website and submit a transfer request. Once you click on the Submit button the Status Block will show “Transfer Pending”. Keep checking back periodically and look for the status to change to “Transfer Approved”. Once that happens, then your children receiving the benefits can go to the eBenefits website and each submit VA Form 22-1990e. In return, each will get a Certificate of Eligibility that they will need when enrolling in school.

As far as the amount of time you must have left on your enlistment, you will most likely incur a four-year extension with a transfer of benefits. Due to a recent change that took effect on August 1, 2012, even if you have at least 20 years of service and are already “retirement eligible”, you will likely extend for four years.

However, if you do not have four years left until you hit your High Year Tenure, then you would most likely not be able to get a transfer request approved. I’m still trying to gather more information on this recent change.

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