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Why Am I Stuck With My GI Bill Four-Year Extension?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I transferred my benefits to my kids, age 1 yr and 3 yrs. I signed a service commitment for 4 years when I transferred the benefits. I revoked the benefits transfer, but I am told I still have a commitment. How can this be? I have not used any benefits at all. I can’t believe this is what the Bill intended?

A: When you exercised your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit transfer option, by transferring benefits to your two dependent children, you had to already have served at least six years and agree to sign up for an additional four years. Nowhere does it say if you didn’t use and revoke the transferred benefits that you would be relieved of your commitment. That commitment is a contract executed in good faith by both parties.

The government upheld their part of the contract by letting you transfer benefits. Frankly, I don’t understand why you would make a transfer to a 1and 3 year old and then revoke it.

With dependents that age, most servicemembers will make a minimum transfer of a month or two per child while they are still active. Then once discharged, they can make a transfer of more months to each child already having a benefit of at least one month. The point of doing that – you can’t make any GI Bill transfers to individuals not already having benefits after you are out.

It doesn’t sound like you thought this through very well before doing it and now you are stuck with another four years.

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