How Can I Transfer My Remaining Unused GI Bill Benefits to My Wife?

Q: I was honorably discharged in August 2003 after serving 8 years. I have used a portion of my GI Bill benefits to receive my certification as a fire fighter. My question is am I able to transfer the remainder of my benefits to my wife who is working on her degree now? Thank you.

A: I’m assuming you got your fire-fighter certification by using the Montgomery GI Bill. Being it doesn’t generally have any transfer benefits, you can’t transfer anything to your wife.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill does have a transfer-benefit option, but to transfer benefits, active duty participants had to have served at least six years, of which three years had to be after September 10, 2001. While you have eight years of service, you have less than two years after the September date. The other part of the transfer-of-benefits eligibility is you would have had to reenlist for an additional four years to exercise the transfer option.  Finally the last part, if you didn't catch it, was you have to be on active duty on or after August 1, 2009 to make a transfer. Once discharged, the transfer option is not an option.

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