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Is My New Wife Eligibile for Any of My GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi. I was in Army National Guard and deployed to Iraq. I got discharged in 2006. Now, I want to use GI Bill to go to school and I’m about to get married too. Will my new wife will be eligible for any of the GI Bill benefits? Thanks.

A: No, because she does not have any transferred benefits of her own (and you can’t make a transfer now that you are out of the Guard) and she is not a veteran having her own GI Bill, she will not have any GI Bill benefits. You, on the other hand, most likely have 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits due to your deployment to Iraq, if it was at least 91 days or longer. If your deployment was for one-year, you would be at the 60% tier. Less than 12 months puts you at the 50% tier.

Just because your wife does not have any GI Bill benefits, there are still lots of other sources of money she can get to go to school, such as scholarships, grants and loans. I suggest she fills out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get an idea of what student financial aid she would qualify for. Thousands of students not having any GI Bill benefits go to school each year and they manage to pay for their education. My point is there is money available, but it will require some work to find it.

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