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How Can I Maximize My GI Bill Benefits in This Situation?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am still active duty Army and have been since 2004 and I do not plan on getting out any time soon. I would like to transfer my benefits to my wife and also my 2 sons. How can I maximize my benefits in this situation? My sons are seeking degrees. My wife is seeking certifications.

A: You are almost, if not already, at the point you need to be to make a transfer request. According to the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer rules, you have to have served at least six years on active duty and reenlist for an additional four years. So once your reenlistment window opens, get that part out of the way.

You have 36 months of benefits that you can transfer, so one plan would be to transfer just enough months to your wife so she can get her certifications and the rest to your boys. Or still yet, transfer all the benefits to your boys and just pay for your wife certification training as that will probably be the least expensive of the two, being both boys are going for degrees. Once you decide how you want to distribute the months of benefits, go to the TEB website and enter in the number of months you would like to transfer to each dependent.

Once the transfers are approved, by watching for the status to change from “Pending Review” to “Approved” (which can take up to 10 weeks), then each dependent having transferred benefits can go to the VONAPP website and submit VA Form 22-1990e. In return, each will get back a Certificate of Eligibility they will need when registering for classes as a GI Bill student.

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