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Can My Husband Transfer His Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Me Now?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband has 6 years active duty and just reenlisted for 4 more. Can he transfer the GI Bill to me now if I don’t plan to start college until next semester? Considering we are right in the middle of the 6 and 4-year mark, it is important to me that he transfer it now, but school has already started and I didn’t sign up for this last semester. Thanks in advance. — Kalie

A: Kalie, assuming your husband has at least four years left on his enlistment at the time he makes a transfer request (meaning he has not started on his four-year reenlistment yet), then yes he can request a Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefits. However if you are talking about the Montgomery GI Bill, then no he can’t as that particular GI Bill does not have a transfer of benefits option.

As far as when you use your transferred benefits, that really is not an immediate issue. You have up to 15 years from his date of discharge – a date that is at least four years down the road – to use up the benefits he would transfer to you. So right now if he doesn’t extend again, you have at least 19 years to use up your transferred benefits.

Not starting school until next semester is probably preferred as it takes a few weeks before his benefits transfer request would get approved and it takes some time to get your Certificate of Eligibility after that. So all-in-all it would be best to wait until next semester.

Once his request is approved, then you have to go to the eBenefits website and request your Certificate of Eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990e. Hand in a copy to your Registar when you register for school.

Also, know that because he is still serving, you would not be eligible to receive the monthly housing allowance because he is most likely drawing BAH. You would however, get your tuition paid up to the resident rate and receive the book stipend at $41.67 per credit per semester, up to the $1,000 yearly cap.

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