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If I Retired This Year, Can I Still Transfer My GI Bill Benefits to My Adopted Child?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I have retired from the Army National Guard/Reserve in 2011, with 20 years of service. Do I still have my GI Bill benefits? I entered service in 1980. And can I transfer my benefits to my adopted child?

I’m afraid the short answers are no and no. Let me explain why. If you never had any Title 10 time in support of a contingency operations (Iraq and Afghanistan are the two most popular ones), then your Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) benefits ran out around 1990/1991 – ten years from your Notice of Benefits Eligibility (NOBE). If you would have had less than ten years of eligible MGIB-SR service and gotten out, your benefits would have ended upon your discharge, but because you went over the 10 years mark, they expired at the decade mark.

However, if you did have at least one deployment after September 10, 2001 in duration of 90-days or more, then you have at least minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (40%). A typical one-year deployment would put you at the 60% level. The bad news is even if you have the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your transfer option ended when you were discharged. You can still use the benefits yourself, but you lost the transfer option.

If you have the Post 9/11 GI Bill, it is too bad that you were not aware of the transfer requirement before you retired as legally adopted children are authorized benefit recipients. However, if you were not authorized the New GI Bill, then you did not lose anything as the MGIB-SR does not have a transfer option to it.

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