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Why Can’t I Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to My Spouse?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am seeking clarification on transfer eligibility of my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. I retired from the Army on 1 April 2004. I applied for, and received, my Post 9/11 GI Bill in August 2009. I am interested in transferring my GI Bill benefit to my spouse and went to the TEB web site (Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) Web application: to do so. However, my spouse is not listed as an eligible recipient. Is this because I did not receive my eligibility of GI Bill benefits while on active duty? From what I am reading in the update policy letter, in order for my spouse to be eligible for transfer I must have a retirement date of August 2009 or later. As stated earlier, my retirement date is effective 1 April 2004. Thanks for your assistance

A: There are a couple of issues causing you inability to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your wife. According to the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer-of-benefits rules, you must:

  • be on active duty on or after August 1, 2009;
  • have at least six years of active duty service;
  • agree to serve an additional four years.

You retiring before August 1, 2009 is one reason, but the other reason is you did not have at least three years on active duty after September 10, 2001. These three years put you at the 100% level which is also what you need to transfer benefits.

Right now there is a bill in congress – S3447- that would allow retirees with retirement date before August 1, 2009, but still meeting all the requirements of the transfer benefits rule, to make a transfer to dependents. While the final language of that bill is not approved yet, I doubt they will open it up to veterans not at the 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill level. Keep watching this blog for updates to this legislation.

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