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If I’m Getting Married in June, When Can My Wife Use My GI Bill?

Q: I’m getting married in June. Is my wife eligible for my GI bill? — Chris

A: If you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Chris, the short answer is as soon as you get her enrolled into DEERS. For education benefits, the Transferred Education Benefits (TEB) website uses information from the DEERS database to verify the spouse is eligible to receive benefits.

Now, here is the rest of the story. After three years of service, post September 10, 2001, you qualify at the 100% benefit level for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However , you can’t transfer benefits to your new wife until you have served at least 6 years and agree to serve an additional 4 years.

Once, you qualify to transfer her benefits, she can begin using those benefits immediately, but she must use them up within 15 years from your date of separation from active duty.

If your new wife goes to school while you are still on active duty, then she will not receive a monthly housing allowance (because you are already drawing BAH). If she is going to school once you are discharged, then she will get the monthly housing allowance. Regardless if you are still serving or not, she will get up to $1,000 per year for a book stipend and the VA will pay her tuition and fees directly to her school, up to the public school in-state maximum.

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