Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability

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The Post-9/11 GI Bill is the most extensive veteran's education benefit to come out of Congress in years. To be eligible for this robust benefit, service members or veterans must have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001. Individuals honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001, may also establish eligibility.

In addition to receiving this benefit, career service members on active duty or in the selected reserve  may be entitled to transfer all or a portion of their education entitlement to one or more of their dependent children. The service eligibility program start date is not the same across the Uniformed Services. Members of the Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) are eligible to transfer their benefit if they were in service on or after August 1, 2009. Public Health Service (PHS) officers must be in service on or after August 1, 2011 and a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) must be in service on or after September 1, 2011. To be eligible, service members must have served in the Armed Forces for at least 10 years and agree to serve four additional years from the date of election to transfer. Service members may be eligible to transfer a benefit to a child at 6 years of service, but the child cannot use the benefit until the service member has 10 years of service. A service member must be on active duty, not retired, in order to transfer this benefit. Children must meet be 18 before using the benefit, or have attained a secondary school diploma (or equivalency certificate). Children must use the benefit prior to turning 26 years of age.

Military children who receive a transferred benefit are eligible to receive all public in-state tuition and fees. Private and foreign school costs are capped annually. For the 2012 – 2013 academic year the private and foreign school annual cap is $18,077.50. Some institutions participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and will pay out-of-state fees and costs above the cap. Military children also qualify for the GI Bill's monthly living allowance and annual stipend for books and supplies. The monthly living allowance will be prorated by the student’s rate of pursuit and is not payable during school breaks It is important for families to keep in mind that transferability is not an entitlement and can be revoked by the service member at any time.

To transfer a benefit to a child, service members should first contact the VA to establish eligibility and then submit a transferability application through the Transferability of Educational Benefits website.

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