DoD Announces Extension to GI Bill Transfer Rules

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Editors note, July 2019: These rules were supposed to be effective in July 2019, but the Department of Defense has delayed their implementation until Jan. 12, 2020.

The Defense Department has once again shifted its policy on who can transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependents, temporarily moving back to a rule that permitted transfers among some who are blocked from serving an additional four years.

Troops who have at least 10 years of service and are blocked from serving four additional years due to statute or policy have until Jan. 12, 2020 to transfer their education benefits to dependents if they agree to serve the maximum time authorized, a Pentagon news release states.

The shift is retroactive to July 12, 2018. Troops who applied for transferability, but were rejected based on the policy change, should re-apply before the Jan. deadline, DoD officials have said. Applications rules and processes vary by service.

Although the benefit is authorized by law, how the Pentagon uses it is a matter of policy. A 2015 report from the congressionally mandated Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) noted that the benefit is meant to be used as a retention tool, not as an entitlement.

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