As of now, service members can transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to dependent children or spouses as long as they have served at least six years and agree to serve for at least four more but that will change this summer.
Starting July 12, the Department of Defense will further limit transferability policies so that only service members who have served less than 16 years on active duty can transfer GI Bill benefits.
"I think this is going to cause people to transfer benefits sooner," said Keith Hauk, associate vice president of Veterans Initiatives and Military Support at University of Maryland University College. "We do need to make sure people understand that this is going on because this change, to my knowledge, has not been very well publicized by VA or DoD."
Other policies about transferability of GI Bill benefits will stay the same — all transfers must be made before separation, allocations can be changed after separation, dependents must use benefits before they turn 26.
"I periodically run into veterans who want to transfer their benefits and you have to tell them it's too late. The decisions about transferability have to be made while you are still in the military," Hauk said.
A bill was introduced by Sen. Cory Booker this past November in an effort to remove the controversial transfer limit.
“Allowing veterans who eventually have dependents to transfer their education benefits would put them on equal footing with veterans who had dependents while on active duty," Booker said in November. "It’s vital that we ensure our veterans are empowered for success as civilians, and this legislation takes an important step in fulfilling that commitment.”
For more information about upcoming changes, visit the VA Education and Training website.
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