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If I Retired in June 2009, Is There Any Way I Can Transfer Benefits to My Daughter?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I retired in June 2009 and according to the eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I’m eligible. I wasn’t aware of the Post 9/11 GI Bill upon my retirement and therefore, didn’t apply to have these benefits transferred to my spouse which I would like to do. All the information I’m coming across says I had to do this prior to my retiring. Is there any way to appeal this so that I can transfer these benefits to her? My current employer will pay for my college education so I would like her to be able to use these benefits.

A:  Nope, there isn’t. The way Congress wrote the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, you had to be “on active duty on or after August 1, 2009” to make a transfer request.

Because the New GI Bill went into effect two months after you retired, there wasn’t anything you could have done before you retired. Thousands of veterans are in the same boat as you as they are fully eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill including the transfer option, but due to their date of retirement were excluded from making a transfer request.

There was a House of Representative bill (H.R 3577) that if passed would have given 20+ year veterans retiring between December 9, 2001 and August 1, 2009 the option to make a transfer, but it never even made it to a vote and has since died with the last action being on March 4, 2010.

It could be reintroduced, but I wouldn’t hold my breath as it never had much support when it was alive. All the support seem to go to the GI Bill 2.0 which passed, but didn’t include anything for veterans in your group.

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