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Can My Son Transfer His Post 9/11 GI Bill to His New Wife?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I am curious as a mom. My son enlisted and has only been in a year. He intends to get married this summer. He wants to offer his GI Bill to his new wife. Is he eligible to do this?

Not for awhile, and depending on which GI Bill he has, maybe not at all. Let me explain.

When soldiers enlist, they are given the option to sign up for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). If your son signed up for the MGIB, it does not have a transfer option, so he would not be able to transfer any benefits to his new wife with that GI Bill.

If your son switches to the new Post 9/11 GI Bill, it does have a transfer option, but he can’t use the option until he has served six years on active duty and agrees to serve an additional four years. Also, before switching and transferring benefits to his wife, keep in mind the new Post 9/11 GI Bill is only good for degree-producing programs. Trade schools, certifications and licensing programs are not covered.

Also be aware, if your son’s wife goes to school under the Post 9/11 GI Bill while your son is on active duty, she will not get the housing allowance (because they are already getting paid BAH). If she goes to school after he is out, she will get the housing allowance. She has 15 years from his discharge date to use her benefits.

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