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Transferring Your GI Bill Benefits?

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Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. -- Last summer a substantive change to the policy on the transfer by service members in the Uniformed Services of “Post-9/11 GI Bill” educational benefits to eligible family members occurred.

The changes to the policy for authorizing the Transferability of Education Benefits become effective on July 12, 2019.

The provision that requires a service member to have at least six years of service to apply to transfer benefits remains unchanged in the policy.

Key changes occurring, effective July 12, 2019:
 Eligibility to transfer those benefits will be limited to service members with less than 16 years of total service (active duty service and/or selected reserves as applicable).
 All approvals for transferability of Post-9/11 GI bill continue to require an additional four year commitment in the Armed Forces.
 More importantly, the member must also be eligible to be retained for 4 years from the date of election.
 This policy affects service members in the Uniformed Services which includes the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the commissioned members of the U.S. Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Other changes effective July 12, 2019:
 Requires service members who have not applied for TEB, who are on limited duty or involved in a Medical Evaluation Board, Physical Evaluation Board, or Disability Evaluation System process to wait until the process is complete before applying for transferability.
 Requires service members who applied for TEB, but were denied due to insufficient retainability as a result of being on limited duty or involved in a Medical Evaluation Board, Physical Evaluation Board, or Disability Evaluation System process to request transferability again once they are fit for duty and commit to an additional 4 year service obligation.
 Members subsequently found fit for duty, but only after having accrued more than 16 years of total creditable service, will be allowed to apply to TEB again, provided the member applies to TEB within 90 days of being informed of the fit for duty determination.
 Service members who have not applied, and who are subsequently found unfit for duty (with a medical separation/retirement order) - but otherwise eligible to request to transfer their benefit, (have six years), may not be approved for transferability with no additional service obligation.

If a service member fails to fulfill their service obligation because of a force shaping event (such as officers involuntarily separated as a result of being twice passed over for promotion, or enlisted personnel involuntarily separated as a result of failure to meet minimum retention standards, such as high-year tenure), the change will allow these individuals to retain their eligibility to transfer education benefits even if they haven't served the entirety of their obligated service commitment through no fault of their own.

The changes are intended to more closely align the transferability benefit with its purpose as a recruiting and retention incentive, and also to underscore to the department that while the Post-9/11 GI Bill is a transition/adjustment benefit offered as a reward to service members during a time of conflict, transferability of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit to dependents was enacted to serve as a recruiting and retention incentive.

For more on the policy, please visit:
http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/134113p.pdf