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As a Retriree, Will I Be Able to Transfer GI Bill Benefits to Dependents?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is there any action being worked to allow retirees the option of transferring GI Bill benefits to eligible dependents? This does not seem very equitable since I paid in to the MGIB and can transition to the Post 9/11 Bill.

A: Yes there is. A new bill (H.R. 1330) was just introduced in the Legislature by Rep. Alexander (R-LA) that would allow 20-year+ retirees retiring before August 1, 2009 the option to transfer their Post 9/11 GI Bill months of entitlement to a spouse or dependents.

For those not knowing the current rules, career veterans who qualify for the Post 9/11GI Bill, but who retired prior to August 1, 2009, are not eligible to make a transfer of benefits. The way Congress wrote the rules a servicemember had to be serving “on or after August 1, 2009″ to make a transfer request.

Because they retired before the Post 9/11 GI Bill was started on August 2009, although they qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill by serving after September 10, 2001, never seemed quite fair, but prior legislation has not only failed, it never even came to a vote. So it will be interesting to see how the popularity of this bill differs from the previous one.

If you are a veteran who retired prior to August 1, 2009, but want to make a transfer of benefits, contact your legislators and let them know you would like them to support (H.R. 1330). Legislators understand numbers. If a few of us contact them, it might not get their attention, but if all of us make contact, they listen. Do your part for career veterans having the Post 9/11 GI Bill and retiring before August 1, 2009. If we can provide solidarity, we can get this done and correct a wrong.

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