The Department of Defense announced a policy change Thursday affecting the transferability portion of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Eligibility to transfer those benefits will be limited to service members with less than 16 years of total service (active duty service and/or selected reserves as applicable). Previously, there were no restrictions on when a service member could transfer educational benefits to their family members.
“After a thorough review of the policy, we saw a need to focus on retention in a time of increased growth of the Armed Forces,” said Stephanie Miller, director of Accessions Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, in the release. “This change continues to allow career service members that earned this benefit to share it with their family members while they continue to serve.” She added “this change is an important step to preserve the distinction of transferability as a retention incentive.”
When does it go into effect?
One-year from the policy announcement on July 12, 2018.
Who is exempt?
Any service member who has already completed the transfer of benefits, according to Jessica Maxwell of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs.
What’s stayed the same?
- The provision that requires a service member to have at least six years of service to apply to transfer benefits remains unchanged in the policy.
- All approvals for transferability of Post-9/11 GI bill continue to require a four-year commitment in the Armed Forces and, more importantly, the member must be eligible to be retained for 4 years from the date of election.
How does this affect service members who exit the military due to a force shaping event?
The change will allow these individuals to retain their eligibility to transfer education benefits even if they haven’t served the entirety of their obligated service commitment through no fault of their own. Examples of such events are “officers involuntarily separated as a result of being twice passed over for promotion, or enlisted personnel involuntarily separated as a result of failure to meet minimum retention standards, such as high-year tenure.”
To learn more about the policy, click here.