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With Four Years of Service, Can I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Wife?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I served for four years (2000-2004). Am I eligible for the Post 9/11 Bill benefit? If I am can I transfer them to my wife?

A: I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is you are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill (provided you have an honorable discharge). Whether you have full Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements or not depends on when you got out in 2004.

If it was after September 10th, then you are at the 100% tier. If it was before September 10th, then you are at the 90% level. Regardless of your tier level, you have 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits you can use.

While the difference between the two levels is only 10%, the differences go deeper. If you served on active duty, then you have to be at 100% to use the Yellow Ribbon Program. What the Yellow Ribbon Program does for you is if you pay out-state tuition or attend a private school, it helps pay the difference between what the school charges and what the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays. If you are at 90%, then you would have to pay the difference out-of-pocket.

If you attend a public school in your state of residency, then your GI Bill would pay your tuition and eligible fees in full and you would not need the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The bad news is you will not be able to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your wife. According to Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, you have to have served for at least six years, be serving “on or after August 1, 2009” and agree to serve an additional four years, before a transfer request would be approved.

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