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Can My Daughter-in-Law Use Some of My Son’s GI Bill Benefits to Go to Pre-Nursing School?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My son just got out of the Marines after four years active duty. He is not going to college, but his spouse is enrolled in a pre-nursing college program. Can she use his GI benefits and if she can, will this reduce his benefits if he decides later to go to school?

A: Unfortunately, she cannot use any of his benefits. Why? The way Congress wrote the rules for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, he would have to have served for at least six years on active duty and agree to serve another four years at the time of the transfer request, meaning he would have to still be serving at the time of the request.

So because he did not meet the six-year service requirement, and of course he did not agree to serve for another four years (because he got out), he can’t make a transfer request and get it approved.

But, he does have 36 months of benefits that he can use to go to school. As far as if his spouse would reduce his benefits by using some of them, yes, she would. With only 36 months of benefits and if he would have been able to transfer let’s say 18 months to her, he would only have 18 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits left that he could use.

Some people are under the impression that each person get a full 36 months, but his is not true – each servicemember is only authorized one 36-month block of benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

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