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How Do I Transfer Benefits to My Wife Now That I’m Retired?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I retired from the Air Force after 26 years, with the New GI Bill. Will I be able to transfer benefits to my wife? I was told this was possible but after reading the FAQ section it looks like only active duty members are able to transfer benefits.

A: What you read about transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits in the FAQ section is true. Only those still on active duty can make a transfer of benefits request (at least for right now). There is a bill in the legislature right now that if passed would allow veterans with 20 years or more of active duty service who retire after December 8, 2001 but before July 31, 2009, the option to make a transfer.

This group of veterans fully qualifies for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but because they retired before the Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect, they never had the opportunity to make a transfer of benefits. What I don’t know is how this bill will affect those retiring after August 1, 2009, but never made a transfer while they were still on active duty.

If you fall in the above date range, and you think this bill could help you (or if you want to help the thousands of veterans this affects), then contact your legislatures and ask they support S.3477 and H.R. 5933.

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