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Is It True I Have to Make a Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer Request While Still on Active Duty?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

It appears that in order to transfer GI Bill benefits to dependent children, you have to make this election while on active duty – is that true? My husband and I both retired in 2007 after 21+ years of active service. We had no knowledge of making this election. Is that because it wasn’t available then? If so, WHY would the govt “penalize” those that retired before this election was available but who served after 9/11 and a minimum of 10 years?

A: Not only was that election not available yet in 2007, it wouldn’t be available until two years later on August 1, 2009. You and your husband (along with thousands of other veterans) were left out when Congress wrote up the rules for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

The way they worded it, you had to be in the military “on or after August 1, 2009” to make a transfer request, along with having served for at least six years and agree to serve an additional four years (unless retirement eligible – then the additional time is reduced).

Yet they set the eligibility date for the New GI Bill back to September 11, 2001. That makes no sense to me why they would have done that.

That meant a large number of veterans, retiring before August 1, 2009 who had at least six years of service with at least three years after September 10, 2001, were taken right out of the picture  as far as being able to make a transfer request, because of the currently serving clause. They are eligible, but they can’t make a transfer.

There have been a couple of legislation bills presented in the past couple of years, but none have gained enough support to even come to a vote, let alone get defeated, so they ended up dying in place without a vote. The voice of veterans up to this point has not been strong enough or organized enough to get this wrong corrected.

Contact your legislators and explain how disappointed you are in that they forgot the pre-9/11 veterans and ask they either initiate or support a bill that would allow you (and thousands of other veteran voters) to make a transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

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