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Can Dependents Get Selected Reserve GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My mother served in the Army Reserves for 23 years and retired in 08. Would she qualify for the GI Bill? If so would she be able to give the benefits to her son or daughter, who are attending college at this time? I ask because she is not interested in going back to school and she wants to see if she does qualify and if she would be able to give the benefits to her children instead?

A: Servicemembers in the Reserves and National Guard get the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR) while they are serving. The MGIB-SR has either a 10 or 14-year delimiting date, meaning if they don’t use their GI Bill benefits within that period of time while they are still serving, they lose it. The same thing happens if they get out before hitting their delimiting date; they lose their GI Bill benefits.

So with your mother getting out in 2008, after 23 years of service, she no longer had any MGIB-SR education benefits left.

However, she might have some Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, if she deployed after September 10, 2001 on an active duty Title 10 contingency operation order lasting at least 91 days or more.

But at the present time, she can’t transfer those benefits. The window for transferring did not open until 1 August 2009 and she was already retired by that time.

But all is not lost. There is a bill in the House right now that would make it possible for your mother to make a transfer of entitlement, providing it passes. Contact your legislators and ask their support of bill H.R. 3577.

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