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Is It Possible for My Retired Husband to Transfer His Post 9/11 GI Bill to My Daughter?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband just recently retired. He served 20 years in the Navy and retired as an E6. We would like to transfer some of his GI Bill to my 23 year old daughter. She is registered on his DEERS. Is this possible and if so how? She is looking to enroll in school as soon as possible.

A: I get this question or variations of it, a lot. Somehow, the correct information is not getting out to servicemembers getting ready to retire. I can’t pin it down to one specific service branch – I get the same question from all of them. I would think TAP would go over this during their briefings, but I don’t think it is happening.

The way Congress wrote the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the servicemember has to make a transfer request and it have it approved (which can take 8 to 10 weeks) before processing out. Once discharged, it is too late to transfer benefits.

The specific language is serving “on or after August 1, 2009”. Why they wrote it that way, I’ll never know, but when they did that, they kicked thousands of veterans in the teeth who qualify for the transfer process, but either got out before the Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect, or they never got the word about the transfer process before getting out.

There has been a couple attempts with legislation bills to correct this wrong, but none have ever garnered enough support to even come to a vote, let alone pass (or fail).

For right now, and I don’t see it changing soon, your daughter (or you) will have to find another way to fund her education. Sorry!

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