Transferring your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to a Family Member

For the first time in history,Service Members are able to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouses or children. Certain eligibility criteria must be met in order to do so.

 In this Resource:

  • Eligibility
  • Nature of Transfer
  • How to apply

Eligibility

Any member of the Armed Forces (active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted) on or after August 1, 2009, who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and:

  • Has at least 6 years of service in the Armed Forces on the date they request the transfer and agrees to serve 4 additional years in the Armed Forces from the date of election.
  • Has at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces (active duty and/or selected reserve) on the date they request to transfer and 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, or
  • 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 Service Members eligible for retirement on August 1, 2009, no additional service is required.
  • For Service Members who have an approved retirement date after August 1, 2009, and before July 1, 2010, no additional service is required.
  • For Service Members eligible for retirement after August 1, 2009, and before August 1, 2010, 1 year of additional service after approval of transfer is required.
  • For Service Members 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 Service Members eligible for retirement on or after August 1, 2011, and before August 1, 2012, 3 years of additional service after approval of transfer required.

Eligible Dependents Are:

  • The Service Member’s spouse.
  • One or more of the Service Member’s children.
  • Any combination of spouse and child.

A family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS), at the time of the transfer request.

A child's subsequent marriage will not affect his or her eligibility to receive the education benefits; however, after a Service Member has designated a child as a transferee, the Service Member retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time. A subsequent divorce will not affect the transferee’s eligibility to receive education benefits; however, after a Service Member has designated a spouse as a transferee, the Service Member retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.

Nature of Transfer

An eligible Service Member may transfer up to the total months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, or the entire 36 months if the member has used none (unless DoD/DHS limits the number of months an individual may transfer). Family member use of transferred educational benefits is subject to the following:

  • Spouse:
    • May start to use the benefit immediately.
    • May use the benefit while the Service Member remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty.
    • Is not eligible for the monthly housing allowance or books and supplies stipend while the Service Member is serving on active duty.
    • Can use the benefit for up to 15 years after the Service Member’s separation from active duty.
  • Child:
    • May start to use the benefit only after the Service Member making the transfer has completed at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces.
    • May use the benefit while the eligible Service Member remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty.
    • May not use the benefit until he/she has attained a secondary school diploma (or equivalency certificate), or reached 18 years of age.
    • Is entitled to the monthly housing allowance and books and supplies stipend even though the eligible Service Member is on active duty.
    • Is not subject to the 15-year delimiting date, but may not use the benefit after reaching 26 years of age.

How to apply for Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB)

First you must go to the “TEB” or DoD transferability application website https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/TEB/consent?continueToUrl=%2FTEB%2F to determine if your dependents are eligible to receive the transferred benefits. This website is only available to Active Duty Service Members.

You must log in with your CAC or MyPay PIN. Veterans are ineligible to transfer benefits to their family members Fill out the required information through the website. After all information is entered the Service Member will submit the application.

This is not the final step. After submitting the application, the Service Member must then obtain a Statement of Understanding (SOU) form from his or her Service Branch. These forms may usually be located in the Base Education Office. The SOU must be filled out by the Active Duty Service Member’s command and then routed to the base administrative office. Once base admin receives the SOU, the information is then loaded into the Service Member’s record. Afterwards, the DOD must submit their approval. In order to determine if approval has been given, the Service Member needs to regularly check the TEB website. The status of the transfer application will change from “Submitted” to “Approved.” At this time, the designated Transferee (spouse or child) may then apply to use the benefits via the GI Bill website at www.gibill.va.gov. Applicants should use the VA form 22-1990e or VONAPP program to apply for benefits on the website.

After the Transferee applies for benefits via the GI Bill website it may take several months for approval to come from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA.) The Transferee will receive a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA once the application process is completed. The Certificate of Eligibility must be presented to the financial aid office of the school the Transferee is attending so the VA may be billed for the student’s tuition and fees.

Transferring the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits is a great way for spouses and children to pay for their education. However if the Service Member cannot transfer the benefit there are many other funding opportunities for family members. Please check out our Resource on Paying for Your Education to learn more.

Sources consulted for this Resource

U.S. Department of Defense - https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/TEB/consent?continueToUrl=%2FTEB%2F and http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - https://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/Transfer.htm

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