The transferability option of the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows Servicemembers to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Public Health Service, or Department of Commerce determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. Once your department approves benefits for transfer, the new beneficiaries apply for them at VA.
Who Is Eligible To Transfer Their GI Bill Benefits?
Any member of the Uniformed Services (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 of election and agrees to serve 4 additional years in the Armed Forces from the date of election.
- Is or becomes retirement eligible and agrees to serve an additional 4 years on or after August 1, 2012. 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.
- Transfer requests MUST be submitted and approved while the member is in the armed forces.
Who Can Receive Transferred GI Bill Benefits?
If you are eligible to transfer benefits you can transfer your entitlement to:
- Your spouse.
- One or more of your children.
- Any combination of spouse and child.
A family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits, at the time of transfer to receive transferred educational benefits.
If your child gets married it doesn't affect their eligibility to receive the transferred benefits; however, you can take away or change the transferred benefits at any time.
If you get divorced, your ex-spouse can still use the transferred benefits; however, you can take away or change the transferred benefits at any time, depending on the divorce settlement.
How to Transfer Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits
You can only apply to transfer benefits while you are on active duty, once you leave active duty it is too late. You should either apply online at the DMDC Website or follow your service's instructions.
While in the armed forces, transferors use the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) website to designate, modify, and revoke a Transfer of Entitlement (TOE) request. After leaving the armed forces, transferors may provide a future effective date for use of TOE, modify the number of months transferred, or revoke entitlement transferred by submitting a written request to VA.
To request transfer of benefits while on active duty:
1. Use your Common Access Card (CAC), DoD Self-Service Logon (DS Logon), or DFAS Account (myPay) to sign in to the milConnect portal application: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/
- When the milConnect Home page displays, select Benefits → Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) from the menu bar.
- When the TEB portlet page displays, your family members are listed in the table under the List of Family Members section.
Note: If a family member is not eligible for DEERS benefits, and thus is not eligible to receive transferred benefits, the word “ineligible” will display in the Relation column to the right of your relationship to that family member.
2. To transfer benefit months to a family member, do the following:
- Locate the name of the appropriate family member in the table.
- From the Months drop-down list, select the number of months (0 to 36) to transfer.
- Optionally, enter an End Date in YYYY-MM-DD format.
Repeat this process for each family member.
3. Once transfer Months have been assigned to your family members, you must submit your transfer request for approval by doing the following:
- Select the “Post-9/11 GI Bill Chapter 33” radio button in the Select the educational program from which to transfer benefits section.
- Select all the boxes in the Transferability of Education Benefits Acknowledgements section to indicate that you have read and understand each statement.
- Click the Submit Request button.
If the submission is successful, a Confirmation message displays.
After you have submitted your transfer request, the Sponsor information section at the top of the TEB page updates to show that the Status is now Submitted. The Status Date is blank and will remain blank until a Service Representative approves, rejects, or sets your request to a pending status.
To track the status of your request, you will need to return to the TEB page to check the "Status" in the Sponsor information section. Once your transfer request is approved, the status will be updated to Request Approved and the approval Status Date will be set to the date the Service Representative approved the request.
4. Once your transfer request is approved, your request data is sent to the VA. Each family member must first apply for a certificate of eligibility from the VA before they can use their transferred benefits. Once the VA receives the request data and VA Form 22-1990E, they will be able to process your family members’ requests to use their benefits. The application for the certificate of eligibility (VA Form 22-1990E) can be found through the VA's VONAPP Web Site.
5. After receiving their certificates of eligibility from the VA, your family members must provide the certificates to the school.
6. If your family members do not receive their certificates of eligibility from the VA before they enroll in school, they should ask the veterans’ certifying official at the school to submit to the VA an enrollment certification for the academic term.
Tuition funds will be sent direct from the VA to the school. Children are eligible for the monthly living stipend and/or the books and supplies stipend while you are serving on active duty. Your spouse is eligible for the books and supplies stipend, but not the monthly living stipend, while you are on active duty, because both you and your spouse are already receiving the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). If you are not currently serving on active duty, then both your spouse and children are eligible for the monthly living stipend and/or the books and supplies stipend.
Details On Using Transferred GI Bill Benefits
You may transfer up to the total months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, or the entire 36 months if you haven't used any.
Family member use of transferred educational benefits is subject to the following:
- May start to use the benefit immediately.
- May use the benefit while the member remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty.
- Is not eligible for the monthly housing allowance while the member is serving on active duty.
- Can use the benefit for up to 15 years after the servicemember's last separation form active duty.
- May start to use the benefit only after the individual making the transfer has completed at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces.
- May use the benefit while the eligible individual is on active duty 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 even though the eligible individual is on active duty.
- Is not subject to the 15 time limit, but can only use the transferred benefits until they are 26 years old.