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Can I Transfer from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 So My Children Can Use It for College?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I transfer my Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 Bill? I retired from active duty Army in Oct 2009 with 20 yrs. of service. Can I transfer from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 so my children can use it for college and if so, how and where do I do that?

A: You can transfer from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 GI Bill by submitting VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website. In return, you get a Certificate of Eligibility that you would need when enrolling in a school as a GI Bill student.

The bad part is you can’t transfer your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your children. If you were eligible, I would have suggested a different route that would have automatically switched you to the New GI BIll and transferred benefits to your children.

The way Congress wrote the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, you have to be serving at the time you make a transfer request, have served for at least six years and have at least four years left on your enlistment at the time of the transfer request – unless you are within four years of being retirement eligible. Then the additional four-year requirement is prorated down depending on how many years you have left until you hit 20 years of service.

It is too bad you did not know this before you retired as you could have made a transfer request before you got out as the New GI Bill started on August 1, 2009, but the eligibility goes back to September 11, 2001.

So if you never used any of your GI Bill, you should have 36 months you can use. Just keep in mind your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits do have a limitation. They expire 15 years from your last date of discharge.

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