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Is There Any Way to Allocate Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Our Daughter Now?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi My husband retired from the military in 2011. Prior to his retirement, he allocated some of his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to our oldest daughter that was attending college at that time. Our youngest one began college this year and we were told that she is not eligible for the benefits because he didn’t transfer any benefits to her prior to his retirement. At that time our youngest was not in college and we were not aware he could transfer regarding. Is there is any way to allocate the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits from one child to another? My oldest one is not planning on using them.

A: What you were told is correct. In order to revoke Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits from one child and give them to another child, the child receiving them has to have had received benefits from the servicemember sponsor while that person was still serving on active duty.

Not that it does you any good now, but the best way for your husband to have transferred benefits would have been to give each daughter and you each one month of benefits. Then after he retired, he could have moved benefits around at will between himself and the three of you. But since the youngest daughter never had benefits before he retired, she can’t receive them now.

Evidently, your husband was given some bad information if he thought the recipient had to be of college age to receive benefits. Many servicemembers transfer benefits to very young children that would not use their benefits for another ten to 12 years from now.

Too bad – you have one daughter that has benefits and won’t be using them and another daughter that wants to use the benefits, but can’t get them.

The best thing now would be either for your husband to revoke the benefits and use them himself, or convince his eldest daughter to use them.

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