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Now That I’m in PHS, Can I Transfer My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Q: I signed up for GI Bill when I was active duty in the Navy from 1999-2003. I am now in the Public Health Service, since August 2010. I didn’t enroll in GI Bill because I had previously enrolled while in the Navy. Am I eligible to transfer GI Bill to my dependents?

A: It depends on which GI Bill you are talking about. The GI Bill you signed up for was the Montgomery GI Bill, which does not have a transfer option to it. However, you also have the Post 9/11 GI Bill in which your eligibility started on September 10, 2001. Depending on when you got out in 2003, you could have two years of service under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

As of right now, you can’t transfer the Post 9/11 GI Bill to your dependents, however that should change once the GI Bill 2.0 goes into effect starting this fall. One of the provisions of the change was to allow NOAA and PHS personnel to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill options. The one thing that has not come out yet are the requirements to make a transfer.

If it follows the active duty rules, you would have to be at the 100% tier by serving six years and reenlist for an additional four years. I don’t know yet if that is a combination of active duty/PHS time or not. If it follows the National Guard and Reserve rules, you would still have to have served a combination of six years, but you could be at less than 100% to make a transfer.

The best thing right now is to wait and see exactly what the rules will be. More information will come out as we get closer to the August 1st implementation date. I’ll post updates to this blog as I receive information.

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