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Can I Use My Fathers GI Bill and Mine At the Same Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I’m National Guard and so is my father. I have been using my GI Bill since I have been in college but recently, since my dad came back from his 1st deployment. I was trying see if I can stop using my GI Bill and start using his Post 9/11 GI Bill since I am his dependent and under 26? Or could I get his and mine at the same time?

A: First, your father would have to meet the service requirement of having served for at least six years. He most likely meets that requirement, but there is also a future service requirement – agreeing to serve for another four years (unless he is within four years of qualifying for retirement, then the additional time would be prorated down to a lesser amount.) And then finally, he would have to be willing to make a transfer of his benefits to you.

With only one deployment under his belt, he would be at the Post 9/11 GI Bill 60% tier, meaning the VA would pay 60% of his tuition, monthly housing allowance and book stipend. If he transferred his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to you, you would inherit that same percentage of pay.

Your dad could transfer benefits to you and you could use them, but not at the same time you are using your Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). You would have to use one set of benefits and once those ran out, switch over to the other GI Bill. Just know that you will be limited to a combined total of 48 months of benefits under the Rule of 48.

I understand why you would want to switch. The MGIB-SR pays a full-time student a measly $345 per month. Even at 60%, your monthly housing allowance alone would be over twice that amount!

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