Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has introduced H.R. 2002. A bill that would expand Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability to cover those who have been retired due to disability or medical reasons and allows retirees to make the transfer within 36 months of their retirement.
Under current Post 9/11 GI Bill provisions, servicemembers may receive educational benefits that can either be used by the individual member or transferred to a spouse or dependent child. If a service member decides to transfer their educational benefits, current statute dictates that they must do so before retirement. Many servicemembers, however, are being medically-retired before they have the opportunity to complete this benefit transfer. Service members separating due to service connected disabilities might not be aware of this limitation requirement, or may not be able to comply for reasons associated with their injuries. Consequently, the inability to transfer this benefit might not be the service member’s fault, depriving them of a benefit they have earned. This gross oversight in the law is unfair to our honored service members.
H.R. 2002 would amend current law to allow service members retired due to a service-connected injury or disability to qualify for GI Bill transferability even after leaving the service.
The proposed legislation would also extend service members transfer eligibility 36 months after retirement, with an additional 12 months extension upon DoD approval for special circumstances.
H.R. 2002 does not increase costs, as the funding already exists for service members who qualify for the benefit and there are no additional costs associated with transferring the benefits to a dependent or spouse. According to the Bill's author, the bill simply restores equality and fairness to the process, allowing the service member to determine who gets to use their earned benefit.