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Shouldn’t I Still Be Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer Benefit after Serving 17+ Years?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am medically retiring from the AF, effective in 20+ days. I applied for the Post 9-11 and initiated a TEB application. I received a reply from AFPC stating “Sir, you are currently unable to fulfill your ADSC. Please extend your enlistment so that you can fulfill your commitment, and then we can process your application. I am medically retiring, of course I’m unable to fulfill. But I should still be eligible after serving 17+ years, correct? Besides, I was briefed in TAPS and multiple other agencies to include the VA and the Ed Center that I was eligible. A search online revealed this blurb from a Career Counselor:”Yes, if the SM is being medically retired and trooper can not fulfill the SRR, the SM can still participate in TEB. The obligation end date will be the date of retirement.”What are the facts? I want to TEB to my spouse prior to my actual retirement date. After that date, I will not be eligible to. Please Help me with this.

A: To answer your question “But I should still be eligible after serving 17+ years, correct?”, if you are basing it on that premise alone, no you are not correct. The Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefit rules state you have to have served for at least six years and agree to serve an additional four years, unless you are “retirement eligible” meaning you have served for 20 years. If you within four years of being retirement eligible, then the four year requirement is prorated down to a lesser amount and is dependent on how many years you have left to serve until you hit the 20-year mark. At 17+ years, you would have to extend for another 2 to 3 years.

Now the medical part of it could shed a different light on it. You may fall under the policy of “Has at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces (active duty and/or selected reserve) on the date of election, is precluded by either standard policy (service or DoD) or statute from committing to 4 additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.” Due to your medical condition, you would be precluded from committing to an additional four years.

But, because the VA only saw that you did not have the required time left on your enlistment at the time your submitted your TEB, they disapproved it. They had no way of knowing you were going out on a medical. You should have contacted them before you submitted your TEB request. Now there may not be enough time to get everything done before you are out.

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