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With 10 Years of Service, Can My Husband Transfer His Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Me Now?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi Ron. My husband has been active duty for over ten years now. He would like to transfer his GI Bill benefits to me, but we are unclear if he can do that at this point or whether he would have to serve an additional 4 years. We have heard that it is possible if he has served 10 years and we have also heard that he would have to serve four more to make this happen. We would appreciate your help!

A: He would most likely have to serve an additional four years. There are certain instances where if he has served for at least 10 years, he could make a transfer of his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to you without having to serve any additional time. The rule reads:
“Has at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces (Active Duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of election, is precluded by either standard policy (service or DoD) or statute from committing to 4 additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.”

If for some reason he could not extend due to a policy or statue, then he could agree to serve as long as he could right up to his discharge. Such an instance could be if he was an officer and came up against his mandatory date of either getting promoted or discharged. If there was not place for him to go to get promoted, then he could agree continue to serve under this rule while going through the discharge process.

He could make a transfer request to you during this time, however, be aware that his request must be approved before he is discharged. Once out, it is too late.

Because it can take 8 to 10 weeks to get a transfer request approved, the trick is for him to make his transfer request as far in advance as possible and to make sure the VA knows he is not able to extend for another four years due to policy or statue.

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