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If I Have Transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits, Can I Use the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband (veteran) transferred his 36 months of (100%) Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to me; dependent. I’m getting conflicting information on whether the ‘yellow ribbon’ benefits are applicable to anyone other than the veteran. Can you verify whether dependents whom have been granted rights to Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are able to use the yellow ribbon provisions?

A: Yes I can answer your Yellow Ribbon questions. Actually, there are two situations where spouses can’t use the Yellow Ribbon Program benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill – if the veteran is at a tier lower than 100% (as could be the case with National Guard and Reserve members) or if the sponsor is still serving. However, a dependent child could use the Yellow Ribbon program if the sponsor is still serving. So being your veteran husband is at the 100% tier, you can use the Yellow Ribbon Program if you have a need to use it.

Generally speaking, if you are attending a public school and are considered a resident in the state where the school is located, your tuition and applicable fees would be paid in full by the VA anyway. However, if you are paying out-state tuition or attending a public school whose tuition exceeds the $17,500 maximum, then you could benefit from using the Yellow Ribbon Program.

When you inquire as to whether your school has the Yellow Ribbon Program or not, be sure to ask if your program of instruction is covered and at what percentage. Some Yellow Ribbon Agreements only cover certain training programs. So while a school may advertise they are a Yellow Ribbon school, it doesn’t necessarily mean they cover all programs of instruction.

If you need to use the Yellow Ribbon program, don’t be afraid to “shop” around to see which GI Bill-approved school has the best percentage. While The more they pay, the less you will have to pay in out-of-pocket costs.

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