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If I’m Getting Married in June, When Can My Wife Use My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I’m getting married in June.  Is my wife eligible for my GI bill? — Chris

A: If you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Chris, the short answer is as soon as you get her enrolled into DEERS. For education benefits, the Transferred Education Benefits (TEB) website uses information from the DEERS database to verify the spouse is eligible to receive benefits.

Now, here is the rest of the story. After three years of service, post September 10, 2001, you qualify at the 100% benefit level for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However , you can’t transfer benefits to your new wife until you have served at least 6 years and agree to serve an additional 4 years.

Once, you qualify to transfer her benefits, she can begin using those benefits immediately, but she must use them up within 15 years from your date of separation from active duty.

If your new wife goes to school while you are still on active duty, then she will not receive a monthly housing allowance (because you are already drawing BAH).  If she is going to school once you are discharged, then she will get the monthly housing allowance. Regardless if you are still serving or not, she will get up to $1,000 per year for a book stipend and the VA will pay her tuition and fees directly to her school, up to the public school in-state maximum.

Comments  (4)

me and my fiancee want to get married, I am currently using the GIBILL, can she use the GIBILL at the same time as me or does she have to wait till i finish shcool? I am out of the service since 2008

posted by Antonio
4:56 am on March 11, 2012

If she has her own GI Bill, she can use it at the same time as you. If you had planned on transferring some of your Post 9/11 GI Bill to here, you are out of luck. You have to be currently serving, have served for at least six years and agree to serve an additional four years (and be married to her) before you can access the transfer option and get a request approved.

posted by Ron Kness
12:06 pm on March 11, 2012

I have served my four years active and four years in active reserve, I was serving in the Marines since 2004-2008. So if me and my fiancee get married, she will not be able to use the GI BILL or Post 9/11 GI BILL?

posted by Antonio Lopez
1:07 pm on March 15, 2012

No she won’t for two reasons. One, the Montgomery GI Bill does not have a dependent transfer option and two, if you are already out of the Marine Reserve (and it sounds like you are), you can’t make a transfer request. The way Congress wrote the rules, you have to be serving “on or after August 1, 2009″ and agree to serve an additional four years before you could make a transfer request and hoped to get it approved.

posted by Ron Kness
1:44 pm on April 1, 2012
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