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Would Getting Married Affect My Chapter 35 Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My fianc├® and I are debating on getting married before going to college. Would that affect my Chapter 35 benefits? I also heard that the GI Bill was being cut. Are Chapter 35 benefits still going to be available?

A: No, getting married would not have any effect on your Chapter 35 benefits at all. Just keep in mind that you only have 44 months of benefits and you have up to your 26th birthday to use them up. Right now, Chapter 35 is paying $987 per month and you have to pay your tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses out of that amount, plus have money to live on.

What you heard about the GI Bill getting cut was wrong, although many people had the same impression. What was cut (and has since been restored) was Tuition Assistance which is available for active duty personnel to use so they can go to college while still serving their country.

While the topic of cutting GI Bill benefits always comes up when Congress is trying to cut the deficit, GI Bill benefits have always survived the cut and I see no change to that pattern in the future.

We saw what happens when they cut Tuition Assistance. The outcry was so loud that they restored funding so the program could continue on. I believe your Chapter 35 benefits are secure and I would not lose much sleep over worrying about losing them.

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