Transfer of Post-9/11 GI-Bill Benefits to Dependents (TEB)
Before the Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect on August 1, 2009, one of the most requested military education benefits by servicemembers was the transfer of Post-9/11 GI-Bill benefits to dependents (TEB). This option would allow servicemembers to transfer unused GI Bill benefits to spouses and dependent children. When Congress wrote the rules for the New GI Bill, they included the TEB option, but only to certain Post-9/11 GI Bill holders.
TEB Eligibility Requirements
Only enlisted servicemembers with Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits have TEB benefits. This group includes officers and enlisted, active duty and Selected Reserve including the National Guard, who have served at least six years, since September 10, 2001, and agree to serve an additional four years. For those approaching retirement, the additional time may be prorated to a lesser amount.
A sponsor can transfer all 36 months or any unused amount of his or her remaining benefits to:
- A spouse
- One or more children
- A combination of spouse and children
Specific rules regulate how dependants can use their transferred benefit.
How to Use TEB Benefits
Once a transfer request is approved, the benefit recipient must go to the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) Website and submit VA Form 22-1990e. In return, he/she will receive the Certificate of Eligibility schools require when enrolling students using transferred benefits.
Dependents may use their transferred benefits to attend any VA-approved institution of higher learning (IHL), including two-year or four-year public or private colleges and universities, including online schools. They may pursue any degree permitted by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, including:
- Associate's degrees
- Bachelor's degrees
- Master's or first professional degree
- Doctorate degrees
Spouses have 15 years to use their transferred benefits, though they can start using them immediately. Dependent children may not start using their benefits until the sponsor has at least 10 years of active duty service. Once this milestone is reached, the dependent may start using the benefits upon obtaining a high school diploma or reaching the age of 18; he/she must finish the degree program by age 26 or any unused benefits will be lost. Sponsors always retain the right to modify or revoke unused transferred benefits at anytime, while still serving or after retiring.
TEB Benefit Pay Structure
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays tuition and eligible fees directly to the school, up to the in-state maximum (which varies by state). Under the GI Bill, a monthly housing allowance is provided to full-time students who are taking classes on a physical campus. This allowance is based on the zip code of his or her school, and is a benefit that can also be transferred to dependents and spouses.
If the student is taking all online courses, the housing allowance is not authorized. However, one course per term, applying to the student's degree plan taken in a traditional classroom setting, will authorize the housing allowance. Spouses will not receive the housing allowance if the servicemember is still serving, however, dependent children will receive it regardless if they are living at home or not.
How to Intiate the TEB Process
Transferring benefits is a two-part process. The first part requires the sponsor to go to the DoD's TEB website to see if the transfer option is turned on. The TEB website is secure so access requires using a Common Access Card (CAC), a DFAS PIN or a DoD Self-Service User ID.
If the dependent receiving benefits has a record that is "grayed" out, or the sponsor is unable to access the record, then the option is not available. Possible causes for this could be:
- Sponsor is not eligible
- DEERS record is incorrect
- System error
If the option is on, the sponsor can enter number of months he or she would like to be transferred. Once the transfer request is complete, "Pending Review" will be in the Status Block. The sponsor should continue to check the Website; once the status becomes "Approved," the transfer is complete.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill contains many provisions not found in any earlier GI Bill. The transfer of Post-9/11 GI-Bill benefits to dependents (TEB) is a small, but important, way the United States can thank beneficiaries for their service. After all, when the servicemember serves, so does the family in the sacrifices they make.