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Why Does the VA Need Proof of Reenlistment for Our Son to Qualify for Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferred Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My ex-husband is currently serving and is awaiting approval of his reenlistment. Our son was denied benefits because his father had not yet reenlisted as of October 2011. His current enlistment ends 10/01/2012. He has served over 10 years – since 06/08/2001. Why does he need to have proof of reenlistment to qualify for the GI Bill transferred benefits? My ex-husband is currently deployed so my son had to sit out this semester while this mess gets sorted out and we had to pay for the first semester out of pocket after the request for GI Bill benefits were denied. Please help! Thanks.

A: The short answer is because those are the rules. The long answer is there are three service requirements that must be met when transferring the Post 9/11 GI Bill to a dependent:
• Have served for at least six years after September 10, 2001.
• Currently serving.
• Agree to serve for another four years (unless eligible for retirement in less than four years – then a lesser amount of future time is required.)

It sounds like your ex-husband met the first two requirements – he has 10 years of service and is currently serving, but failed to have an enlistment of at least more four years in place at the time he tried to transfer his benefits to his son.

As far as the “why” he has to have that extension in place is because the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer option is used as a retention tool. If a servicemember wants to transfer benefits to a dependent, s/he has to agree to do the additional time.

Once your ex-husband gets his extension in place, tries to transfer benefits again and it gets approved, your son has to go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990e to get his Certificate of Eligibility. He will need that document when enrolling in school as a GI Bill student using transferred benefits.

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