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We Were Never Told We Had to Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Before Retiring, Can We Do It Now?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is there any way to transfer GI Bill benefits to your spouse after separating from the Army? Everything I have found so far says we cannot. No one even told us before my husband got out that he would need to do transfer benefits before he separated.

A: It depends on when you got out. If you got out before August 1, 2009, then you are out of luck, however if your discharge date was on the August 1st date or later, you have an avenue of appeal. There was a lot of erroneous information during and immediately after the Post 9/11 GI Bill implementation and many servicemembers in fact did not know they had to transfer benefits to family members and spouses before they got out.

The Army Discharge Review Board is evaluating claims send in and have approved many of them, letting the servicemembers make a one-time transfer of benefits if they can document they were not aware of the transfer-before-getting-out requirement. You can start the process by submitting DD Form 293 to the Army Discharge Review Board at:

Army Review Boards Agency
Support Division, St. Louis
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5200

Most of the blocks on the form are self-explanatory, however there are instructions at the end of the form on how to complete the blocks that require some explaining.

It can take up to a year to hear back with a decision, but it can be worthwhile waiting. All you are out is some time if your request is not approved.

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