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Can I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Wife?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I started my military service after 9/11 and was medically retired in June of 2008. From what I understand I am eligible for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill. I would like to transfer my benefits to my wife, but because this change did not take effect until 2009, I did not have the opportunity to transfer the benefits to her while I was enlisted. Is she still eligible for the transfer?

A: There are a couple of issues that will prevent you from making a transfer to your wife. First, you are not eligible to access the transfer option as you did not meet the service requirement of having at least 20 years of service at time you retired. Second, even if you did meet the service requirement, you can’t make a transfer request once you are retired. It has to be done while still on active duty. And lastly, you retired before the Post 9/11 GI Bill came into effect on August 1, 2009.

However, you do qualify for the 36 months of minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits if you have at least 90 days of active duty service after September 10, 2001 (which you obviously do). If you have three years after the same September date, then you qualify at the 100% level. You might as well use your GI Bill benefits yourself, because you will not be able to transfer any to your wife and no use them going to waste.

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