The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows you to transfer all or some of your unused benefits to your spouse or dependent children. The military determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. Once your service approves your eligibility to transfer your benefits, your dependents can apply for them through the VA.
Who Can Transfer Their GI Bill Benefits?
Any military member who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and
- Has at least six years of service and agrees to serve an additional four years
- Has at least 10 years of service and can't commit to four more years because of regulation (i.e. High Year Tenure, etc)
Effective Jan. 12, 2020, only members with less than 16 years of active duty or selected reserve service will be able to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.
You MUST transfer benefits while on active duty.
Who Can Receive Transferred GI Bill Benefits?
If you are eligible to transfer benefits you can transfer them to:
- Your spouse
- One or more of your children
- Any combination of spouse and child
The family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) at the time of transfer.
If your child gets married it doesn't affect their eligibility to receive the transferred benefits.
If you get divorced, your ex-spouse can still use the transferred benefits.
You can take away or change the transferred benefits to any dependent at any time.
How to Transfer Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits
You can only apply to transfer benefits while you are on active duty, once you leave active duty it is too late. You should either apply online at the DMDC Website or follow your service's instructions.
After leaving the military you can make changes to the amount of GI Bill transferred to each dependent by contacting the VA.
Details On Using Transferred GI Bill Benefits
You can transfer any remaining portion of your GI Bill entitlement. If you haven't used any, you can transfer it all.
Pro-tip: While you are on active duty you should give each of your dependents at least one month of transferred GI Bill, this gets them in the system. You can always add or subtract entitlement after you get out. But, if you don't add them into the system while you are on active duty (with at least one month of entitlement), you are out of luck later, you won't be able to add them.
- May start to use their benefits immediately
- May use their benefits while you are in service or after you get out
- Can't get the monthly housing allowance while you are on active duty
- If you gout of of the military before Jan. 1, 2013, they have 15 years from your discharge to use their benefits. If you get out after that, there is no time limit
- May start to use their benefits only after you have completed at least 10 years of service
- May use their benefits while you are on active duty or after you get out
- Can't use their benefits until they have a high-school diploma or certificate, or they have turned 18
- Can get the monthly housing allowance even though you are on active duty
- Can only use the transferred benefits until they are 26 years old.
Keep Up With Your Education Benefits
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