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With Eight Years in the Reserves, Can My Husband Transfer the Post 9/11 GI Bill to Me?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello My husband wants to transfer his GI Bill benefit to me but after reading many websites I am confused and need your help. He has been in the Reserves for 8 years and is headed to Afghanistan in March. Am I eligible to accept this benefit before he goes? Are there certain restrictions or percentages that we would be limited to because of the transfer and since he is in the Reserves? Thank you.

A: If he has not deployed before, he would not qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, nor the transfer-of-benefits option yet. He does meet the past service requirement of having served for at least six years and he would have to be currently serving and have to have at least four years left on his enlistment at the time he makes his transfer request once he is back.

But for a Reservist or National Guardsman to qualify for the minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit of 40%, s/he has to serve for a minimum of 90 days on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation, such as Afghanistan. To get fully vested at 100% requires at least three years of Title 10 service.

A typical one-year tour would put him at the 60% tier, meaning the VA would pay 60% of his tuition and he would get 60% of both the housing allowance and book stipend. With him as your sponsor, you would also “inherit” the same percentage of benefits once a transfer request is approved.

Once he is back, he can go to the milConnect website and initiate a transfer request. Once approved, then you will have to request your Certificate of Eligibility by going to the eBenefits website and submitting VA Form 22-1990e. You would need the certificate when enrolling in school as a student using transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

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