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Can I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Back to Myself?

Q: My wife and I are getting divorced. I have already transferred my Post 9/11 GI Bill to her. I would like to transfer the benefits back to myself to possibly use for future children and so on. Is this possible?

A: I can’t tell by your question if you are still serving or not. That is important because it has a great effect on what you can do with your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits should you decide to take them back. First, as the servicemember earning your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you can do anything you want with them to include revoking them from the recipient to whom you gave them to.

However, I do want to explain something as far as taking them back and keeping them to give to your “future children”. The way the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules read, you can only transfer benefits while you are “currently serving”. So that means you would have to have those “future children” and make a transfer request to them while you are still in. Once retired, it is too late to make an initial transfer of benefits to them.

However, if you do have those children, make a transfer request to them, and get it approved while you are still serving, then even after you are out, you can allocate more Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to them. You can give those benefits from the unused remaining months you have or revoke them from one of your previous recipients and reallocate them. Keep in mind, you can’t move benefits that have already been used by the recipient.

If you do not have those children before you are out, then you can’t transfer benefits to them initially after you are out. So that brings me back to the first part of my answer as far as if you really want to take the benefits you transferred to your wife or not.

If you do not plan on having those “future children” before you get out or use the transferred benefits yourself, then it would be a great gesture on your part to leave your transferred benefits with your wife and let her use them to help her start her new life.

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