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At Age 28, Is My Son Too Old to Use Chapter 35 Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My son is 28 years old. Is it too late for him to use my Chapter 35 benefits? He attended before about 5 years ago.

A: I’m not altogether sure I understand your question, but I will give it a shot. What I’m not understanding is if you have Chapter 35 benefits that you want to transfer to your son or if you are talking about your son being able to use Chapter 35 due to you being 100% permanently disabled from a service-connected disability?

If you are authorized and already have Chapter 35 benefits, then no you can’t transfer them to anyone else. If you are disabled, your son may be eligible for Chapter 35, but at age 28 he may be too old to use those benefits. Generally, age 26 is the upper limit, however, there are some instances where the child can go age 31 and even beyond, but you would have to contact the VA for those specific circumstances.

Whether he attended college five years ago may or may not have any relevance depending on if he attended under a GI Bill or not. Under the Rule of 48, if a person is eligible for two GI Bills, the maximum number of combined months is capped at 48. If he did use the GI Bill, then his maximum number of months he has left to use would be 48 minus how many months he already used five years ago. If he did not attend using a GI Bill, then he would have 45 months under Chapter 35 benefits, providing he would qualify for an age extension.

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