So you heard that there are changes underway to transferring the post-9/11 GI Bill. You know what was proposed, but now you want to know: what actually happened and what does it mean?
You're not the only one asking -- I've received tons of questions about this in the last 24 hours from people wanting the inside scoop. Here's what you need to know:
The Latest Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill Transfer RulesWhat changes were made? Lawmakers in the House agreed to cut in half the amount of housing allowance children using a transferred GI Bill can receive in the future.
Right now kids who use the transfer receive the same housing allowance their service member parent would, which, in most cases, is based on E-5 BAH rates at the location of their school. Lawmakers wanted to save some coin, so they decided to cut that amount in half going forward, meaning that kids using a transferred bill can only receive half the rate.
Who does this impact? Let's be very clear: if you have already transferred the GI Bill to a child or make the transfer by 180 days after the new rules are signed into law, you are safe. The changes specifically grandfather you in.
That means this only impacts people who transfer the bill after that time frame, including those of you who plan to transfer the hot second your are eligible to do so, but will not make it in the window before the 180 day mark after the changes are in place. Sorry.
Speaking of, who is eligible? To transfer the GI bill an active duty service member must have already served six years, and agree to a four years additional service obligation (known as an "ADSO.") A child cannot start using the transfer until the service member has hit 10 years in active service, and the child is 18 or has their high school diploma (or GED). The GI Bill cannot be transferred after retirement.
Wait, wasn't that timeline supposed to change? You're not imagining things. The legislation that passed at one point included a measure that would've increased the time in service requirement before transfer to 10 years, plus a two years ADSO. In a fancy eleventh hour move lawmakers kicked that section out, and kept things at the current six plus four rule.
When does all of this become actual law? Probably not for awhile. First, the Senate has to bust a move on similar legislation. Then the whole thing has to be sent to the President for his signature. Watchdogs expect the Senate to move forward with it, so it's not safe to say "don't worry, this won't actually happen." It IS happening - just not right this hot second.
So what should I do? If you are eligible to transfer the GI bill, the answer is simple: transfer it! Transfer it now. Yes, right now. You can un-transfer it later if you want to ... but you cannot go back in time and transfer it under the current, more generous rules. Go here to start the transfer process.