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Why Can’t I Transfer My Post 9/11 GI Bill Entitlements?

Q: Am I correct in understanding that if I desire to transfer my benefits to my kids and have not already transferred to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and if I retire in 2012, that I am unable to qualify? If the intent was to provide exceptions to the 4-year pay back for those of us retiring with over 20 years of service, I’m not sure why people like me are left out. Can you expand on why the one-time exemptions were written with these restrictions? Is there a waiver available?

A: I’m not sure I fully understand your question, especially the part about a “one-time exemptions” and being “left out”, but here are the rules for transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements to a spouse or dependent. To access the transfer option, you of course have to be still serving on active duty.

Next you had to have served for at least six years of which at least three of those years have been after September 10, 2001. The reason being is you have to first qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and two you have to be at the 100% benefit level before you can make a transfer request.

Then if you are four years or more from retirement, you have to reenlist for four years. If you are less than four years from retirement, the additional time required is prorated down to a lesser amount. You will most likely have to reenlist for the amount of time you need to bring you to the 20-year mark, which if you are retiring in 2012, it would be 2 years.

Here is the exact language from the regulation:

“Is (or becomes) retirement eligible during the period from August 1, 2009, through August 1, 2013. A service member is considered to be retirement eligible if he or she has completed 20 years of active duty or 20 qualifying years of reserve service.

• For those individuals eligible for retirement on August 1, 2009, no additional service is required.

• For those individuals who have an approved retirement date after August 1, 2009, and before July 1, 2010, no additional service is required.

• For those individuals eligible for retirement after August 1, 2009, and before August 1, 2010, 1 year of additional service after approval of transfer is required.

• For those individuals eligible for retirement on or after August 1, 2010, and before August 1, 2011, 2 years of additional service after approval of transfer are required.

• For those individuals eligible for retirement on or after August 1, 2011, and before August 1, 2012, 3 years of additional service after approval of transfer required.”

Keep in mind this was written on August 1, 2009 and we are now a year later, so the additional time required will be a year less that what is stated.

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