How Can I Transfer My Montgomery GI Bill to My Children?

Q: I would like to know how I can transfer my Montgomery GI Bill to my children. I retired from active duty Oct. 2007. I have two children and want to ensure that some of their college will be covered? Thanks.

A: I’m sorry, but you can’t transfer any of your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits to your children. Why? Because the MGIB does not have a dependent-benefit transfer option to it. Being you retired in Oct 2007, you would also qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and while that does have a benefit transfer option, you won't be able to transfer benefits to your children with it either, at least for now.

The way congress wrote the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you had to be “on active duty on or after August 1, 2009” to make a transfer. In addition, you had to have served for at least six years and agree to serve an additional four years before you could access the transfer option. While I don’t know if you would have met the service term and reenlistment obligation to be eligible for the transfer option, it doesn’t make any difference because by August 2009, you had been retired for almost two years already.

If you are at least a 20-year veteran, there is a bill currently in Congress that could help you. If passed, Senate bill S.3447 would allow career veterans retiring between December 9, 2001 and August 1, 2009 the option to make a transfer of benefits. Contact your legislators and ask for their support and passage of S.3447.

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