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Would My Son Be Eligible to Use My Ex-Husband’s GI Bill Being the School Is in South Dakota?

Q: Here’s my question — and I have been trying to get an answer, reading and talking with “experts” on the GI Bill. My ex-husband was in both Vietnam and the war in Iraq. My son would like to use his GI Bill to go to college. He and I live in Indiana, my ex lives in NY and my son wants to go to college in the state of South Dakota. Would my son be eligible to use the Bill being that the school is in South Dakota — where his father does not live? If so, how or who do we need to contact to get this started for the Fall Semester. Again, I have been frustrated to say the least on trying to get a straight answer. Thank you for your assistance.

A: The whole answer to your question hinges on if your ex-husband has already transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your son or not and if not is he eligible to do so. Under the rules of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the servicmember making a transfer request has to meet three service requirements:
• Having served for at least six years after September 10, 2001.
• Currently serving at the time of the transfer request.
• Have at least four years left on his/her enlistment at the time of the transfer request, unless retirement eligible.

If your ex served in Vietnam and did not have a break in service, he is retirement eligible by having served for at least 20 years, so no additional time would be required.

So, if your ex meets these three requirements and he wants to give some or all of his remaining unused Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement to his son, then all he has to do is go to the milConnect website and make his transfer request. Once approved, your son has to go to the eBenefits website and request his Certificate of Eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990e.

If your husband does not want to transfer benefits or he is not still serving, then it is a moot point. The benefits belong to him and he can choose what he wants to do with them.

As far as the geographical part of your question, it is now immaterial as of July 1st. Because Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are Federal Benefits, they can be used in any of the States, Territories and even overseas at GI Bill-approved schools. Even, if your son is a resident of Indiana, and wants to go to school in South Dakota, he can now attend any public college or university in SD and he will only be charged the resident rate. That was a change in July that applies to veterans and those using Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits.

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