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Can I Use My Post 9/11 GI Bill and Transferred Benefits At the Same Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi, I was active duty for 6 yrs and I’m about to exhaust my Chapter 30 GI Bill. I have also been in the Guard/Reserves since I left active duty and was activated for one year (2004-2005). I have a couple of questions: 1) Is it true I only receive 60% under Post 9/11 GI Bill? 2) My husband is active duty (25 yrs) and already transferred benefits to kids and me. If I only qualify for 60% under my Post 9/11 GI Bill, can I supplement the other 40% with his? Thanks so much for your time. This is a wonderful site.

A: As far as if you only get 60% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I’ll give you may standard answer of “It depends!”. It depends on when you performed your 6 years of active duty. The part after September 10, 2001 would count toward your Post 9/11 GI Bill, along with your one year of deployment. If that service was before the September date, then the only time that counts is your deployment time, which I’m thinking is the case.

The requirement for the minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement of 40% is serving 90 days on a Title 10 tour after the September date. Three years of eligible service after that date puts you at the 100% tier. Various eligible service times puts you somewhere in between. If all you have for eligible service is your one-year deployment, then yes, you would be at the 60% tier.

Under the GI Bill rules, you can only use one GI Bill at a time, so no, you can’t use your Post 9/11 GI Bill at 60% and your transferred benefits for the other 40%.

You might want to think about using your transferred benefits first if they are at 100%, unless you plan to get an advanced degree, then it might be better to use them last as advanced degree tuition is much, much more expensive.

If that is something you want to do, contact the VA to find out how to use your all of you Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits in a particular order. I have never run into this situation to know the process of doing it that way (or even if it can be done).

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