Military Advantage

DoD Announces Extension to GI Bill Transfer Rules

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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 July 12 to transfer their education benefits to dependents if they agree to serve the maximum time authorized, a Pentagon news release states.

In July of last year DoD dramatically altered its transferability rules. One change, set to take effect in July of this year, blocked those with 16 years or more of service from transferring their benefit. But other changes, including the 10-year rule, went into effect immediately.

The new change temporarily pushes back the 10-year rule. It is now set to go into effect at the same time as the 16-year block.

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 July 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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