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If I Transfer Benefits to My Wife, Will My Kids Qualify Also?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I want to transfer part of my GI Bill to my wife. I am currently on Active Duty and have been in 6 1/2 years. If I transfer 12 months to her, will I be able to transfer the rest to my kids?

A: According to the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, you have to serve at least six years on active duty (which you have) and reenlist for an additional four years, so you will most likely have to do that once your reenlistment window opens.

Once your four-year reenlistment is in place, then you can make a transfer request to your wife. You have 36 months of benefits that you can transfer to your spouse or dependent children in any combination of months that you like. The key is to make a transfer to each dependent while you are still on active duty, as you can’t once you are discharged.

You can, however, manage those transferred months once you are out. You always retain the right to revoke and either keep for yourself or reallocate to another dependent already having received transferred benefits. What you can’t do is transfer months to a new dependent or one who never had transferred benefits to begin with (hence the reason to give each at least one month while you are still in).

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