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Do I Have to Go Back to Delaware to Use My Dad’s GI BIll Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hey, my dad is in the National Guard and has mentioned that I could continue my education for free by using his GI Bill. But he also told me that I would have to attend school in Delaware, because that is where he is enlisted at. I was born in Delaware and lived there until I was 18 years old then moved to North Carolina. I’m not too sure if I want to move back, plus the school that I would really want to attend is here in North Carolina. I was wondering if I HAVE to go to school in Delaware, or was that something he just made up?

A: It depends on which GI Bill you dad is talking about. As a National Guardsman, he would normally get the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), however that GI Bill does not have a transfer-of-benefits clause, so you couldn’t use that one.

If your dad deployed under a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation, such as Iraq or Afghanistan, then he could have some benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Under the right conditions, meaning he has to have served for at least six years and have at least four years remaining on his enlistment at the time of the transfer request, he could pass on those benefits to you.

However because that is a federal GI Bill, you can use those benefits at any GI Bill-approved school to include the Territories and even overseas. As a National Guardsman, he also might have some State GI Bill benefits. If you are authorized to use those benefits, then they would have to be used in the state of Delaware.

I just looked at Delaware’s website on Veterans Benefits and right now they are showing “Delaware provides four-year, full-tuition benefits to children of the following veterans:
• Military who were killed in action or died as a result of service
• Current or former prisoners of war
• Military officially declared missing in action

To receive the benefit, these children must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and have lived in Delaware for at least three years prior to applying.” So under this clause, you would not be eligible to use his Delaware GI Bill benefit.

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