Transfer of Education Benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill
I just finished a very informative joint Roundtable discussion with the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration hosted by Lt Jennifer Craig of the DoD's New Media Directorate within the Public Affairs office at the Pentagon. Mr Keith Wilson, Director of VA Education and Mr Bob Clark, Deputy Director of DoD Accession Policy provided a great forum for providing information about this new program kicking off on August 1st!
So far, 107,000 applications for the transfer of GI Bill benefits to a family member have been received and over 80,000 have been approved! Are you aware of this new program? Need more information? Are you eligible to use it? All service personnel (including Coast Guard) are included but there are restrictions based on career service time limits. If you have questions about eligibility you should contact your service and for actual use of the benefit the VA is the right source for information.
Who is eligible to receive the benefits from the military member? Spouses, child or children or combination of both spouse and children! A quick note and recommendation from the VA: Once you separate or retire you can not add any new members for transfer. You might consider placing all eligible family members in the program so you can add more benefits later. Remember the benefit can always be changed by the member at any time.
What criteria determine eligibility for the members? Some basic rules include 6 years of service, plus a commitment for 4 more or 10 years of service and agreement to serve 4 more years or maximum allowed by their service if restricted for any reason. Eligible to retire? You qualify but may have additional requirements for service based on retirement date. One note from the forum included the fact that National Guard time in state status (Title 32) does not count toward eligibility. For detailed eligibility information go to this VA website or contact your service personnel offices.
The DoD approval process for eligility takes 3-4 weeks but there is going to be surge as the Fall semester approaches! The sooner you apply the better obviously!
Want to find out more in person? The forum leaders recommended:
1) VA Transition Assistance Programs (TAP)
2) School Certifying Officials at the college your family member plans to attend
3) State Approving Officials (Here is a list by state of contact information: State Officials NASAA
This is a great program that has been placed into law by Congress! Many have pushed for years for this program and it is now there for your use! Don't wait! Get started today! Go to DoD's website, Log In and get started today! Your family member's future opportunities await!
PS: If you would like to hear the audio of the Roundtable or read a story about it please go to Defense Link at: Roundtable on Transfer of GI Bill Education Benefits.