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If Married, Can the Spouse Use the G.I. Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My boyfriend is in the Army and he asked me to research to find out some things about the GI Bill. He said someone told him if you are married, your spouse can use to GI Bill. Is that true? Thanks!

A: Yes it can be true, depending on which G.I. Bill you are referring to. Let me explain.

The only G.I. Bill with a transfer option is the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill; the Montgomery G.I. Bill doesn’t have a transfer option. To make the transfer to a spouse, the service member:

  • has to have served at least 6 years on active duty after September 10, 2001;
  • has to agree to serve an additional 4 years on active duty;
  • must make the transfer to the spouse while still on active duty.

The service member can transfer any amount (or all) of the remaining months of education benefit to his/her spouse. The spouse has 15 years from the last date of discharge to use his/her transferred education benefit.

Keep in mind, the spouse will not receive the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill housing allowance or book stipend while the service member is still on active duty. If the spouse is still going to school after the service member is discharged, those two benefits will kick in at that time.

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