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What Criteria Do I Need to Reinstate My GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I joined the Army in 1981-1984 and from 1984-1990, I was in the Army Reserve then re-enlisted into the Army Reserve in 2008 to present. I know my prior GI Bill benefits have been exhausted due too much time has lapsed. What criteria do I need to reinstate them? If they can be reinstated can I transfer them to my daughter?

A: There is only one possible way that you might be able to transfer GI Bill benefits to your daughter – if you are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. You are eligible for it if you have deployed after September 10, 2001 on a Title 10 Order in support of a contingency operation for at least 90 days or more. Two such operations were Iraq and presently Afghanistan.

As far as reinstating your GI Bill benefits, unless you fall into one of these three categories (and you may on the last one), you have little to no chance of getting your Montgomery GI Bill benefits reinstated:

  • Detained by a foreign power or government after your release from active duty.
  • Prevented from going to school by illness or temporary disability.
  • Served a later period of active duty of 90 consecutive days or more.

However, reinstating your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits that you may have had from your active duty service in the Army from 1981 through 1984 won’t do you any good as far as transferring benefits to your daughter because the MGIB didn’t have a transfer of benefits option. Besides with that GI Bill starting in 1984, I doubt that you had it.

You most likely have the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) from your Army Reserve service but that doesn’t have a benefits option transfer either.

So the only possible option would be if you have the Post 9/11 GI Bill. A one-year tour would put you at the 60% tier level; your daughter would inherit this same level.

If you are eligible for the New GI Bill, go to the milConnect website and follow the instructions to submit a transfer request. Once approved, your daughter will have to submit VA Form 22-1990e from the eBenefits website to get her Certificate of Eligibility, something she needs when registering for school as a GI Bill student using transferred benefits.

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