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Can My GI Bill Benefits Be Transferred to a Grandson?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I have a question. My father is in his late 70’s. He is a veteran. He has been out of the military for many years. My wife and I have never been in the military. Is my son eligible for and of his grandfather’s benefits? My father never used any of them. Thank you.

A: No, I’m sorry, but your son is not eligible for any of his grandfather’s GI Bill educational benefits for four reasons. One, back when your father was in the military, the GI Bill from his era never had a dependent transfer option.

Two, all the GI Bills have a shelf life. The one your father would have had from the Korean War era (I’m guessing) would have long expired. The GI Bills of today – the Montgomery and Post 9/11 – have expiration dates of 10 years and 15 years respectively, so your father’s GI Bill was even before these.

Three, none of the GI Bills were eligible for grandsons to use. The Post 9/11 GI Bill (which is the only GI Bill having a dependent transfer option) covers sons, but not grandsons. The only way a grandson could be covered would be if the grandfather would have legally adopted him (but then he would have been considered a son.)

Four, because the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the only GI Bill having dependent transfer benefits, eve if the grandfather had adopted his grandson, he would have had to transfer benefits on or after 1 August 2009 while he was still on active duty as benefits can’t be transferred once the servicemember is out. Your son’s grandfather would have long been retired by that time.

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