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Post-9/11 GI Bill: Transfer of Benefits Change

By WWR | Wounded Warrior Regiment | November 28, 2018

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 The Department of Defense updated their policy on service members’ (active duty and Selected Reserve) ability to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit to eligible dependents. The changes are intended to align the transferability of education benefit (TEB) with its purpose as a recruiting and retention incentive. The following policy aspect remains unchanged: service members must have at least 6 years of service before they can request to TEB. The following two policy updates take effect July 12, 2019:

First, service members must be eligible to be retained for 4 years from the date of their application to TEB, and not be precluded, prior to approval, by either standard policy (DoD or Service) or statute. If there are reasons that prevent a service member from committing to 4 years of service, that service member cannot transfer their benefits. These reasons could include a mandatory retirement date, high-year tenure, retention control point, and not being medically qualified for retention. Previously, service members with at least 10 years of service could TEB without serving an additional 4 years, if they were prevented by policy or statue from doing so. Now these applicants must be eligible to serve an additional 4 years when they request to transfer educational benefits.

Second, the updated policy further limits TEB eligibility to service members with at least 6, but not more than 16 years of service. Creating a cap at 16 years is intended to ensure service members who transfer the benefit can still serve the obligated 4 years before reaching the 20-year retirement mark.

Finally, effective August 31, 2018, recipients of the Purple Heart, who are serving on active duty or in the Selected Reserve, are eligible to request to TEB regardless of years of total service or ability to complete an additional period of obligated service. Highlights from the change:

  1.  DoD Post-9/11 GI Bill policy changes are intended to align the transferability benefit with its purpose as a recruiting and retention incentive.
  1. Service members (active duty or Selected Reserve) must have at least 6 years of service before they can request to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to an eligible dependent. An approved transfer obligates the service member to an additional four-years of service in the Armed Forces (active duty or Selected Reserve).
  2. Previous Post-9/11 GI Bill policy allowed service members with at least 10 years of service to transfer the education benefit without serving an additional 4 years, if they were prevented by policy or statute from doing so.
  3. Effective July 12, 2019, all applicants must be eligible to be retained for 4 years from the date of election, and not be precluded, prior to approval, by either standard policy or statute.
  4.  Effective July 12, 2019, all applicants must have at least 6, but no more than 16 years of service to request a transfer of their educational benefits to dependents.
  5. Marines who have already been approved to transfer benefits do not need to reapply, but are reminded to review their current transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit-related service obligation date at the Defense Manpower Data Center website: https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect.

To read MARADMIN 642/18, visit: https://www.marines.mil/News/Messages/MARADMINS/Article/1685044/warning-order-change-to-dodi-134113-post-911-gi-bill/.

To learn how to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, visit: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp.


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