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Is There a Way Around High-Year-Tenure in Regard to Transferring the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband wants to transfer part of his Post 9/11 GI Bill to me, his spouse. He has been in the USN for 15 years and may be pushed out due to being bumped down to an E5 this past month. I understand that the duty member has to have 4 years left of service in order to transfer GI Bill benefits to any dependents. Since he is HYT, I don’t think he will be able to reenlist to serve another 4 years. Is there any way around this? Also, if we are able to transfer part of the GI Bill and I use my portion for school, is there an expiration date on the other portion of the GI Bill? He told me that once any part of the GI BIll is activated that there is a 10-year deadline to use ALL of it or loose it. My concern is that we would like to leave part of it to our daughter, but she is only 6, so we have 12 years before she will graduate high school. Thank you in advance for your help. This is a great web site!!

A: As far as a way around his High Year Tenure, no there isn’t, but he may fall into the 10-year clause that says if he has served for at least 10 years and he can’t extend for four more years due to policy or procedures, of which High Year Tenure/Retention Control Point may be included, that he can make a transfer-of-benefits request and get it approved. He just has to agree to serve for as long as he can.This might work if he applies for a transfer of benefits before August 1st; it won’t after that date as there would be a High Year Tenure exclusion in place after the August 1st date.

For spouses having Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits, the expiration date is 15 years from the sponsor’s date of discharge and not from the date when you first started using the GI Bill. The same rule also applies to the 10-year period he was thinking of for the Montgomery GI Bill.

So you can use your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits anytime within that 15-year period after he gets out and not lose anything. What he told you about once you start using your benefits, you have to use them up is not true. You can start and stop anytime during that 15-year period.

At the time he makes a transfer request of GI Bill benefits to you, he should also give some benefits (at least one month) to his daughter. Her age at the time of the transfer is immaterial. She can start using her benefits at age 18 or once she has graduated from high school and she has until age 26 to use them up before they expire.

The advantage of giving both of you benefits now is that even after he retires from the military, he can still move benefits between the three of you. If neither you nor your daughter receive benefits now while he is in, then neither of you would be able to get benefits once he is out.

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