DOD Policy on Transferring GI Bill Benefits

June 24, 2009

The U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday released its policy for transferring educational benefits to spouses and children under the new, Post-9/11 GI Bill. Intended in part as a retention incentive, service members wishing to transfer their GI Bill benefits must have served at least six years and commit to another four (although there are specific exceptions for those nearing retirement age). The ability for service members to transfer benefits to family members -- rather than use them or lose them, themselves -- has been highly anticipated by many in the military: “Transferability of GI Bill benefits is the most requested initiative we receive from our service members, and we believe it will assist us in retaining highly qualified military personnel," Bill Carr, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, said in a statement announcing the new policy. Down the road, the policy could potentially lead to shifts in who uses GI Bill benefits, and how. The Post-9/11 GI Bill goes into effect in August, and service members can make transfer designations online starting Monday.

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