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Having Chosen SLRP First, When Is My Husband Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Q: My husband enlisted in April 2009 and he chose the SLRP. He then re-enlisted in Nov 2010 for 4 more years. So April 2012 was his 3-year mark. At that point does he then start earning toward Post 9/11 GI Bill? Basically is he still eligible to use any or all 36 months of the 9/11 GI Bill? He plans on re- enlisting again when his window is open. Thanks!

A: He started acquiring Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility the day after his 3-year mark. On April (whatever date), 2015, he would be fully vested in that he would have 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that he could use at the 100% tier level.

Being fully vested at that time, he could also use the Yellow Ribbon Program feature of the Post 9/11 GI Bill if he waits until he is out to go to school. This program is advantageous if he is a student who is:

  • attending a private school
  • going to graduate school
  • paying out-state tuition

Under the agreement, the school can pay up to half the difference between what they charge and what the GI Bill pays. The VA pays an equal amount, so in theory, all the difference could be paid. However, in reality, the schools agreement might be for a lower percentage than 50%. In that case, he would have some tuition left to pay out of pocket.

Once he has six years of eligible Post 9/11 GI Bill, is still serving, and has at least four years left on his enlistment at the time, he could also make a transfer of benefits to you or any dependent children he might have. Once eligible, I suggest he gives all of you at least one month of benefits.

That way once he is out, he can revoke, assign and generally move benefits around as he wishes. However, if he never gave the person any benefits while serving, he can’t do so after getting out. It is just something to think about.

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