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Who Can I Talk to About Transferring Benefits After Retiring?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is there a procedure or point of contact at the Department of Defense to request an exception to policy on transferability? I retired prior to 1 August 2009 after 30 years on active duty. I would like to transfer my benefits to my wife or daughter. The way I understand it, right now this is not possible. But as with everything I have experienced there has been at least an avenue to make a request for an exception. Whether it is approved is another thing. But I gain nothing by not trying. I will also write my Senator to ensure as they review or contemplate changes they incorporate more flexibility into the Program.

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill is one program not having an exception–to-policy procedure. The rules Congress put in place state specifically you had to be on active duty “on or after August 1, 2009” to make a transfer. I still can’t believe they forgot the thousands of veterans having the Post 9/11 GI Bill who retired earlier than 1 August, but they did.

However, there is one recourse you can take and you eluded to it in your question – contact your House of Representatives from your area and ask for their support on bill H.R. 950. That bill will let retirees make a transfer of benefits. If passed, it will allow veterans with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, retiring between December 9, 2001 and August 1, 2009, with 20 years of service, to make a transfer.

Also, ask your Senators to support S.3447. That is another bill that will correct some issues with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If S.3447 passes, your dependents receiving your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits will get some benefit from that bill.

The more of us that contact our legislators about these bills, the better the chances they will pass.

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