New rules for transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits


New rules for transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: July 29, 2013

Hello Military Families,

As of Aug. 1 this year, there are new rules in place regarding the transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill for service members and their families, so let’s review them.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows service members (officer or enlisted, active duty or selected reserve) from Aug. 1, 2009, forward to transfer unused education benefits to their spouse and children. The service member must have at least six years of service, and commit to an additional four years of service in order to transfer benefits to their family members. Because of the potential impact of this benefit on recruiting and retention, the transferability policy is determined by the Department of Defense and the military services.

For further information on eligible service members, eligible family members and nature of transfer, go to and/or call 888-442-4551.

Until this change, service members who were nearing, or at, retirement eligibility qualified for options that reduced the service obligation requirements. But now, those who request transfer of their Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits to family members will be obligated to serve four more years.

This four-year obligation applies regardless of a service member’s time in service, and is part of a long-planned tightening of eligibility rules for the special benefits program. Here’s what you need to know about changes to this program:

  1. The change affects all service members who are retirement-eligible, and who previously would have incurred service obligations of zero, one, two, or three years when they transferred GI Bill benefits to family members. Now, no matter what, it’s four years.
  2. To qualify for the transfer option, service members must be in active status with the military or selected reserve, and have at least six years of service on the date of the request. The Selected Reserve includes service members of the Active Guard and Reserve, units of the National Guard and Reserve and the Individual Mobilization Augmentee Program. Members of the Individual Ready Reserve are not eligible to transfer benefits.
  3. Spouses of eligible applicants may start to use education benefits immediately upon enrollment in the program, and may continue to draw benefits for up to 15 years after the service members separates from active duty.
  4. Dependent children can use the benefit only after the service member/parent has completed at least 10 years of service, and they have attained a secondary school or have reached 18 years of age. Benefits can be used by dependent children until their 26th birthday.

The effective date of any transfer will be no earlier than Aug. 1, 2009, regardless of application date. Applications can be submitted through the MilConnect website, at Service members will be able to securely access this site with a Common Access Card (military ID card), a DOD Self-Service User ID, or a DFAS PIN.

Blessings from our family to yours,

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at and visit my website at for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.