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As a Disabled Veteran, Does My Dad Qualify for Any Transferrable GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My dad is a disabled veteran and we were wondering about the benefits? I’m going to be attending the Art Institute of California – San Diego in the fall. He isn’t 100% disabled but I’m pretty sure we are still supposed to get some type of benefits from the VA. A cousin of ours is going to school on her father’s benefits and he isn’t 100% disabled either. Thank you.

A: The news is not good. In order to qualify for Chapter 35, your father has to be 100% permanently and totally disabled. So unless the VA reclassifies your father to 100%, Chapter 35 is not an option.

As far as your cousin attending school on her father’s benefits, I’m guessing she is using her father’s Post 9/11 GI Bill, which has nothing to do with him being disabled or not. He most likely met the service requirements for the transfer option while still on active duty:
• Having served for at least six years on a Title 10 order (active duty)
• Currently serving at the time of the transfer request
• Having at least four years left on his enlistment at the time of transfer.

If he transferred all of his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to her, she could go to school up to 36 months.

I’m assuming either your father did not qualify for the transfer option or did not know he had to make a transfer request prior to getting out. Once retired, it is too late.

There are a lot of other education financial aid options. A good place to start is filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. This will give you an idea of what you could qualify for as far as Pell grants and other scholarships and grants. The money is out there – you just have to dig for it. Every year, thousands of dollars of education money goes unused because students did not apply for it. Go after it!

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