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Is It Possible Our Daughter May Be Eligible for My Ex-Husband’s GI Bill Benefits?

Q: My ex-husband was in the USMC from 1984 – June 2008. He served in Desert Storm and Iraq. He never put in an monies towards his GI Bill (The $100/month requirement for his first year of service). I heard things have changed and our daughter may be eligible for his GI benefits. Can you please let me know if this is true or what if anything she may be entitled to if he transfers his benefits to her? Thank you.

A: Your husband most likely is eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. His 36 months of education benefit at the 100% level are free to him just for his service of at least three years after September 10, 2001.

Under the New GI Bill, he can go to school and the VA would pay his tuition directly to his school. If he attends a public school, his tuition would be paid in full at the resident rate. If he chooses to attend private school, the VA would pay up to $17,500 per year.

Monthly, he can get a housing allowance that averages $1,300 across the U.S. It is calculated based on the zip code of his school and the number of credits he takes. Also each semester, he can get a book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit up to the $1,000 per year limit.

Unfortunately, the way Congress wrote the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, he would have had to serve “on or after August 1, 2009″ and still be serving to make a transfer of benefits to your daughter and get it approved. By that time, your ex-husband had been out for over a year. So while he has benefits he can use, he would not be able to transfer them to your daughter.

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