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Am I Eligible for the Additional 12 Months of REAP Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I transferred all 36 months of Post 9/11 benefits to my son. I then applied for the Chapter 1607 (REAP) and was informed that I had only 12 months and received a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for use of the 1607. After 9 weeks VA informed me I was denied. All my research shows I can qualify for it. My question is, am I eligible for the additional 12 months of 1607?

A: It depends on which GI Bill you gave up when you switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. More on that in a bit.

Being you transferred all 36 Post 9/11 GI Bill months to your son, it would make sense that you would only get an additional 12 months under another GI Bill. Under the Rule of 48, if you are eligible for two or more GI Bills, the most total combined months of benefits you can get are 48.

If REAP is the only other GI Bill you have besides the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then I understand why the VA would not give you the additional 12 months. When you switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you gave up another GI Bill. Do you recall what that was when you filled out your VA Form 22-1990? Most likely it was REAP.

There could also be one other reason. REAP was the forerunner to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, however unlike the Post 9/1 GI Bill, you have to stay in the Reserves or National Guard to use your REAP benefits, so if you are out, you don’t have any REAP benefits left to use. I can’t tell from your question if you are still serving or not. The reason you can’t get the additional 12 months of benefits under REAP will be due to one of the two reasons I have listed above.

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