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Can My Mom’s Military Friend Transfer His Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Me?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My dad has been a Marine since 1994 but he left me and my mom in 2000. If I got him to do the GI Bill thing, would I qualify for it? Another question after my dad left, my mom’s friend has being taking care of me like a father would and he has been in the military since 1994. Is it possible he could transfer his GI Bill to me so I can go to college?

A: You may qualify for your Dad’s Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement, provided:
• he is willing and transfers at least part of his Post 9/11 GI Bill to you before he gets out of the Marine Corps.
• he has enough time left on his enlistment to take him out to 20 years (or if not, he is willing to extend for the amount of time he needs to do so).
• you are under the age of 26.
• you are still listed in DEERS as his dependent.

As far as your pseudo-dad transferring some of his benefits to you, the only way he could do that is if he went through the legal adoption process and you formally became his dependent as listed in DEERS as one of his dependents. Otherwise, he can’t make a transfer of benefits to you.

However, keep in mind that thousands of students attend college without using the GI Bill, so if that doesn’t work out, start putting in for scholarships and grants. The nice thing about these is that they don’t have to be paid back the way loans do. You could see what you qualify for to start with by submitting an FAFSA application.

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