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Can You Transfer the Post-9/11 GI Bill After Retirement?

GI Bill transfer

Dear Q&B,

I am a retired command sergeant major E-9 after serving 42 years. Can I transfer my GI Bill to my wife's grandson -- my step-grandson?

Hopeful Vet

Dear Hopeful,

Your question is the sixth one we've recently received inquiring about transferring the GI Bill after retirement or leaving the military.

You want to give it to your step-grandson. Others want to give it to their child 10 years after getting out, or move it from a deceased veteran spouse to themselves or their children.

I can see why this is such a hot topic. Higher education is not cheap, and any little thing you can do to make it cost less seems like a smart move.

Unfortunately for every person who has asked if they can transfer the post-9/11 GI Bill after getting out of the military, the answer is "no."

The transferability option is available only while the service member is still on active duty, and it comes with additional service obligations for most applicants. You can read more here about transferring the post-9/11 GI Bill.

Even if you could transfer it after retirement, it can be given only to someone registered in DEERS as your dependent. That means a grandchild or step-grandchild is a "no" regardless.

Sorry for the bad news!

Team Q&B

-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Questions and Benefits team at

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