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Would My Husband Have to Serve Longer If He Transfers His Post 9/11 GI Bill to Me?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband has been in the military over 20 years and wants to transfer his GI Bill to me, his spouse. If he already has his 20 years in and may retire in the next 2-3 years possibly, I assume he needs to transfer this soon. My question/s are, does he have to serve longer in the military being he hasn’t transferred his GI Bill yet? Also, if the answer is yes, how long? I read somewhere and I can’t find it now, that if he’s retiring that they suggested he speak to someone first before transferring it also. Is this correct?

A: On August 1, 2013, a change to the Post 9/11 GI Bill will go into effect. After that date if your husband wants to transfer his GI Bill benefits to you, he has to extend for four years – providing he can.

The one thing that could prevent him from extending is if he has less than four years left before he hits his High-Year Tenure or Retention Control Point. If that is the case, then he would not be able to make a transfer of benefits to you.

If he makes his transfer of benefits request before the August 1st date though, he wouldn’t have to extend being he already has served at least 20 years. And if he was within four years of being retirement eligible, he could have extended for just enough years to bring him to the 20-year mark.

Actually, the change has been planned since the Post 9/11 GI Bill was enacted on August 2009. In the beginning 1, 2 and 3-year extensions were being offered so a maximum number of people could participate in the program. Now that we are into the fourth year of the program, the change will kick in and those programs that are for less than four years will no longer be offered.

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