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How Do I Get a Waiver So That I May Pass On My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Stepson?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Mr. Kness, I am retired Navy Missile Technician. I retired honorably September 30, 2009 after completing 20 years of service as a submariner. My question is: how do I go about getting a waiver or petitioning so that I may pass on my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to my stepson. I was married to his mother in 2007. I was unaware of the stipulation that I needed to do the transfer prior to my retirement. I was never informed of this requirement during my transfer into retirement. This information was not presented during my Transfer Assistance Program (TAP). I have no doubt that I am not the only one in this position. I’m also sure others were aware of this requirement by what means I couldn’t tell you. I fully intended to use my right to transfer this benefit to my stepson. I didn’t find out about the requirement of having to be active duty to transfer this right until months after my retirement. Any assistance that you can provide me would be much appreciated. If there is a form/waiver, are there any key phrases/words that I can use to better my chances? Thank you once again.

A: You are right, there was a lot of confusion on the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefit rules right after the program was implemented on August 1, 2009. And while you may have had time to make a transfer request if you would have known about it during a TAP presentation, knowing about it at out-processing would not have done you any good as it would have been too late to make a transfer request at that time.

The Army and Air Force have addressed this problem and they have approved about 41% of the requests submitted, however, the Navy and Marine Corps have refused to even look at submitted requests up to this point. However, don’t let that stop you from submitting the required paperwork as they may have to address it at some point in the future.

To start your appeal request, complete and submit DD 149 to the Navy Board for Correction of Military Records. The address is:
Board for Correction of Naval Records
701 S. Courthouse Road
Building 12, Suite 1001
Arlington, VA 22204-2490.

Your job is to convince the Board that you were not informed of the need to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits while you were still serving. How well that information is stated seems to be at least one of the deciding factors if an soldier or airman’s request gets approved or not.

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