Sign up for the Spouse & Family Newsletter

Popular Spouse Benefits Articles

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

Help! They Never Told Me the GI Bill Transfer Rules

Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis/Air Force

Dear Q&B,

When the time came to re-up my service in the Reserves, my wife and I thought about it long and hard.

Renewing meant I could transfer my GI Bill benefits to my daughter but it also meant another possible deployment to a war zone, and we weren't sure this was in the best interest of our family.

After great thought and prayer, we determined that being able to transfer the GI Bill benefits to my daughter was worth it, so I renewed and signed up again.

My wife was with me the day of my service renewal. We talked about the benefit; I was never told or had it explained to me that I needed to declare I wanted to transfer my benefits in the DEERS system at that time. In all the times of going to update information and dependent cards, I was never advised or talked to about this. After my retirement, I received a reservist magazine that said to make sure this was declared before retirement.

HELP! I am now retired! I thought this was an automatic plan. I planned for my daughter to be able to go to college with this money. I served because of it. I have no desire to split this benefit, I want to transfer 100 percent to my daughter.

Can you help me? I have written a few inquiries to my local congressman's office, but after further research I wonder if this is the better starting place. How can I appeal and seek assistance? I have read and researched online successes, but most have come with congressional involvement. Surely there must be a different way.

Is there a source of local assistance, an appeal or other forums? My daughter graduates from high school in June of this year, so this matter is becoming urgent. Please help us!

U.S. Navy Retired

Dear Navy,

Congratulations on your retirement and years of faithful service. We're truly sorry to hear about your confusion and lack of information over the GI Bill transfer process. You're not the first person to write us with this kind of question.

For help with this one, I reached out to the GI Bill transfer experts at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

According to them, other than the congressional action you mentioned, there is one other step you can take -- but it's truly a long shot. You can apply for the transfer now through your retiree "chain of command," get turned down, and then apply to the Navy Board for the Correction of Military Records, the MOAA experts said.

To make that to work, however, you would need to have evidence in your records that you attempted to or actually applied to transfer the benefit while still in service.

In all likelihood, your Reserve administration staff did not understand how the benefit transfer process works and the system failed you. For that, we are sorry. We wish you the very best of luck sorting this out.

Team Q&B

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

Related Topics

Questions and Benefits Military Benefits Family and Spouse Featured

Military News App by

Download the new News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!

Featured VA Loan Articles