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As an Ex-Public Health Employee, Can I Transfer Benefits to My Son?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I was awarded the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I was awarded 36 months at 60% tuition and a housing allowance. I served Public Health Service in 2002-2003. I heard and thought I could give this to my son, but learned today this may not be the case. Please enlighten me. I am working on my masters at a Public institution and my son is attending a private university and thought he could benefit more from it.

As the rules stand today under GI Bill 1.0, you are correct in that Public Health and NOAA personnel cannot transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits to their dependents, but that will soon change. Part of the GI Bill 2.0 legislation that President Obama just signed into law will allow transfer of benefits for employees of the two above mentioned agencies starting on or after August 2011. What I don’t know at this point is if it will be retroactive or not, and if so, how far back will it go.

So it might be worthwhile to save your Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements, at least until we hear if you will be able to transfer your unused months to him or not.

Another part of that legislation that could affect your son, if he ends up having Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits and being he is going to a private school, is the VA will only pay up to $17,500 per year for tuition at private universities. If your son’s tuition exceeds that amount, the difference will have to come from other financial sources, unless ol’ dad decides to foot the bill.

According to one of my sources, work is already starting on GI Bill 3.0 to correct some of the things that unintentionally happened in 2.0, so we will see what that brings about.

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