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How to Transfer Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits to Family Members

The Post-9/11 GI Bill gives generous education benefits to service members, and as an extra perk, you may share these benefits with your family. However, starting January 12, 2020, a recent change limits transfer of the benefit to service members with between 6 and 16 years of service. There used to be no upper limit on when you could transfer the benefit.

This change 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.

Highlights of the transfer of military education benefits

  • You must have served at least six years to transfer your education benefit.
  • If you plan to serve more than 16 years, you must transfer your benefit before the start of your 16th year.
  • You may ask to transfer part or all of your education benefit to your spouse and/or children.
  • You may ask to transfer the benefit only while serving.
  • You must commit to serve at least four years. And you must be eligible for four more from the date you ask to transfer the benefit.
  • If you fail to fulfill your service obligation due to a “force-shaping” event — such as involuntarily separation – you will still be able to keep your completed transfer of education benefits.

Purple Heart recipients who were active duty or in the Selected Reserve on or after Aug. 31, 2018 are not affected by the rule change. They can:

  • Transfer their education benefits without regards to years of service
  • Keep a completed transfer of education benefits no matter if the transfer occurred before or after Aug. 31, 2018, or if they fulfilled their service obligation.

Your branch of service must approve your request to transfer benefits. Your service may have other requirements, such as filing a statement of understanding, before it grants your request.

Being able to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill military education benefits is a great financial advantage for you and your family. Learn more about how to do it, or contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to discuss educational benefits with one of our education consultants.

Get Help to Transfer Your Education Benefits

Transferring your Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to your child is a great start to pay for college, but you may have questions. Military OneSource can connect you to your service’s point of contact so you can get the answers you need.

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