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If My Wife Is Using My Post 9/11 GI Bill, Can I Use My Montgoemery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If my wife has my Post 9/11 GI Bill, can I use my Montgomery GI Bill? I am currently retiring.

A: Most likely not. When you switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and further transferred those benefits to your wife, you gave up one of your other GI Bills. If the only other GI Bill you had was the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), then you would not have anything left to use. However, if you were lucky enough to have three GI Bills, then you might have MGIB benefits left to use, however they would be limited.

Under the Rule of 48, if you have two or more GI Bills, the maximum combined months of entitlement is capped at 48. So if you gave your wife all 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement, and you have MGIB benefits left to use, you would only have 12 months of benefits that you could use before you would hit your maximum of 48 combined months.

Hopefully, you were using the Tuition Assistance (TA) program while you were active, so you either already have your degree, or the 12 months you might have would be enough to finish your degree. You could also use those months to give you a good start on an advanced degree.

Just so you know, you always have the option to revoke back some or all the entitlement you gave to your wife. If she is not going to use all of it, you could take back the remaining unused months and use it yourself. That would be an option if you do not have any other GI Bill left to use.

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