Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability

How Will the Forever GI Bill Impact Benefits Transferability?

Good news! Now that President Trump has signed the Forever GI Bill, it’s time to celebrate the first expansion of military education benefits in nearly a decade, and perhaps the best part of the new Forever GI Bill is that it will be expanding opportunities for transferring military benefits.

Under the previous rules of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, benefits transferred to a spouse or dependent had to be entirely sacrificed if that person died, but with the Forever GI Bill, it will now be possible to transfer benefits a second time if the original recipient of the benefits passes away.

Also, anyone who receives benefits will be eligible to transfer them if the veteran who originally earned them passes away, meaning the recipient can choose their own new recipient to receive the benefits.

And while these rules will only apply to limited numbers of people, it’s the first time it’s been possible for veterans to transfer their benefits after leaving the military, or posthumously, which is a good step in the right direction for making it easier to give benefits to those who really need them.

GI Bill Transferability Rules

In 2017, perhaps the best benefit offered with the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits package is the option to transfer it either entirely, or in part, to spouses (wives or husbands), children or other dependents (adopted children, step-children, etc.).

Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits can save you tens of thousands of dollars in student loan costs, effectively allowing you to get your college degree entirely for free, so you have a very good reason to pay close attention to this page’s content, and make sure that you fully understand the way the transfer process works.

Unfortunately, I’m still receiving tons of questions from military personnel who did not pay close enough attention to the fine print, and who left the service before transferring their benefits, or who did something else that invalidated their benefits transfer (like transferring benefits, then leaving the service too soon), leaving their dependents on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars.

Make sure that you avoid financial disaster by reading this entire post, asking questions about parts that you don’t understand, and verifying that you really do have access to transferability benefits, because failure to do any one of these things could cost your family a great deal of money.

But Before I Go Into Details…

The Post 9/11 GI Bill offers incredible benefits, but it only helps you prevent racking up NEW student loan debt, and offers nothing to help get rid of EXISTING debt.

If you’ve already got student loans, and want help getting rid of them, you may want to review these pages of my site:

Next, many veterans were attending schools that shut their doors in recent years, and I’m fortunate enough to share good news with you. If your school closed recently, before you could finish your degree program, then you may be eligible for a refund, or at least forgiveness on your loans. Check out my pages on the Closed School Loan Discharge Program, the ITT Tech Student Loan Forgiveness Program and the Corinthian Colleges Student Loan Forgiveness Program for details.

Finally, if you need immediate assistance with your student loans, or if you’ve got questions about your loans, then I recommend calling the Student Loan Relief Helpline. The Helpline experts can review your case and suggest ways to reduce or eliminate your loans quickly. Your first call is free, and you’ll only be charged if you sign up for one of their paid services, so you’ve got nothing to lose other than a few minutes of your time.

If you have Federal loans, call: 1-888-906-3065. If you have Private loans, call: 1-866-530-9946.

How Much of the Post 9/11 GI Bill Can I Transfer?

If you’re eligible for transfer at all, you’ll be able to give up to 36 months (or whatever is left unused) of your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your spouse or dependent children.

Not everyone is eligible to transfer their benefits though, because the military is using this benefit as an incentive to get personnel to agree to slightly longer service contracts.

And that’s one of the most important parts of the transferability rules – I already mentioned it in the opening paragraphs above, but keep in mind that even if you have Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you may not be able to transfer them.

You’ll need to make sure that you sign a long enough service contract after your benefits are transferred in order for them to be retained. If you leave the service too early, then your dependents lose their access to the benefits, and get stuck with a huge bill!

Who is Eligible to Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Here are the eligibility requirements you must meet if you’re hoping to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependent:

  • You must be a member of the United States Armed Forces
  • You must be active duty, or Selected Reserve
  • You must be an Officer, or enlisted personnel
  • You must be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill program

Pretty simple, right? But that’s just the first part of the process. You also have to satisfy at least one of the eligibility conditions listed below, as well:

  • You must have at least six years of service on the date that you request transferring your benefits, and you must agree to serve an additional four years in the armed forces (active duty or Selected Reserves) from the date of your benefits transfer
  • You must have at least ten years of service on the date that you request transferring your benefits, and you must be precluded by either standard policy (by your Service Branch or the Department of Defense) or statute from committing to four more years of service, but you must agree to serve the maximum amount of time allowed by that policy or statute
  • You must be retirement eligible as of August 1st, 2012, and agree to serve an additional four years of service after that date. You would have been considered eligible for retirement on August 1st, 2012 had you completed 20 years of active federal service, or 20 qualifying years as computed according to section 12732 of title 10 U.S.C.

Please note that transferring GI Bill benefits to spouses or dependents must occur while you’re still a member of the armed forces.

You must make your transfer request, and the transfer must be completed, before you’ve retired, or otherwise left the service.

And that too, is a very important point, because I get literally hundreds of comments a year from people asking how to transfer their GI Bill benefits to kids and spouses after they’ve already left the service. It’s simply NOT possible!

Who is Eligible to Receive Transferred Benefits?

Though it sure would be nice, you can’t give your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to just anyone. In fact, only the following people will count as eligible transferees:

  • Spouses (husbands or wives)
  • One of more of your dependent children
  • Some combination of your spouse and children (you can divide the benefits up between them)

To be eligible to receive transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, your spouse or dependent children must first be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS), and they have to be eligible to receive the benefits at the time your transfer request is processed.

Meaning, if you put in a transfer request, then divorce your wife before it’s processed, she won’t be able to receive the benefits.

Also meaning, if you put in a transfer request, but your kids haven’t yet signed up for the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System when it comes time to process it, then they won’t be able to receive the benefits either.

There are a lot of pieces to the transfer process that must fall into place at the right time; so be sure to pay close attention to the rules, make sure you handle everything appropriately, or you’ll end up losing out on tens of thousands of dollars in financial assistance.

What is Your Part in the Transfer Process?

To transfer GI Bill benefits to your spouse or dependent children, you must use the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) website while you’re still a member of the armed forces.

To do this, click the link above, then following these steps:

  1. Click the “Education” link
  2. Click the “Transfer of Education Benefits” link

Within this system, you’ll be able to do one of the following tasks:

  • Designate a Transfer of Entitlement Request (also referred to as a “TOE Request”)
  • Modify a Transfer of Entitlement Request
  • Revoke a Transfer of Entitlement Request

Once you’ve left the armed forces, you’ll still be able to change the future effective date of a Transfer of Entitlement request, modify the number of months you want transferred to any particular spouse or dependent child, or revoke entitlement to benefits, but these can only be accomplished by submitting a written request to the Veterans Administration.

And, again, you will NOT be able to initiate a new benefits transfer. Transfer requests MUST OCCUR before leaving the service!

What is Your Spouse or Dependent Child’s Part in the Transfer Process?

After your Transfer of Education Benefits request has been approved, your eligible spouse or dependent child will need to apply to use the transferred GI Bill benefits by:

  • Printing out, completing, then mailing VA Form 22-1990e to the nearest VA regional office (find it here)
  • Alternatively, you can complete VA Form 22-1990e online and submit it via the Internet here

Please note that your spouse or dependent child should only complete this form after you’ve request for Transfer of Education Benefits has been approved by the Department of Defense.

If they fill this form out and submit it before your TEB request has been approved, it could lead to a paperwork nightmare.

Additional Eligibility Factors

In addition to the eligibility guidelines listed above, there are rules for extenuating circumstances, including marriages and divorces:


Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer rules state that children designated to receive benefits will remain eligible regardless of whether or not they get married themselves, but keep in mind that you do retain the right to revoke or modify the transfer of your benefits to your child at any time (by writing the VA).


Once you’ve been approved for transferring GI Bill benefits to your spouse, that spouse will remain eligible to receive your education benefits even if you two get divorced. However, keep in mind that you can still revoke or modify the transfer at any time, including after you’ve been divorced, or during divorce proceedings.

Rules for Using Transferred Benefits

Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are great for both spouses and dependent children, but the rules governing their actual usage by each type of dependent are different, even though the process of transferring them is identical.

Here are the guidelines for actually using transferred benefits:


  • Spouses may start using transferred benefits as soon as their request to use the benefits has been approved
  • Spouses may use the benefit while you’re still in the armed forces, or after you’ve separated from active duty (either by retiring, simply leaving service, or becoming a member of the reserves)
  • Spouses are not eligible to receive the monthly housing allowance (Basic Allowance for Housing) while you remain a member of the armed forces serving on active duty
  • Spouses can use your benefits for up to 15 years after you’ve separated from active duty

Dependent Children

  • Children may only start using transferred benefits after you’ve completed at least 10 years of service in the armed forces
  • Children may use transferred benefits while you’re still in the armed forces, or after you’ve separated from active duty
  • Children may not use transferred benefits until they have completed their high school diploma (or an equivalency certificate like a GED), or until they’re at least 18 years old
  • Children are eligible to receive the monthly housing allowance (Basic Allowance for Housing) even while you remain a member of the armed forces serving on active duty
  • Children can only use your benefits until they reach the age of 26 (meaning they’ll likely only have 8 years to use the benefits, since they can’t start using them until they’re about 18 years old)

For Official Information

To get the rules straight from the horse’s mouth, be sure to visit the VA website, the DOD website and the Transferability Fact Sheet.

If you have additional questions after reviewing all of these materials, please feel free to ask away in our comments section below, or contact your assigned career counselor or personnel center from the table below:

Service BranchContact
Army Active Duty (Officers)
Army Active Duty (Enlisted)
Army National
Army Reserve (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)
Navy Active Duty (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)866-U-ASK-NPC (866-827-5672)/DSN 882-5672
Navy Reserve (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)

800-621-8853, Fax: 757-444-7597/7598
Marine Corps Active Duty (Officers)
Marine Corps Active Duty (Enlisted)
Marine Corps Reserve (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)
Air Force Active Duty (Officers & Reserve Personnel)800-525-0102 or 210-565-5000 or DSN 665-5000
Air National GuardContact a Retention Office Manager at your unit
Air Force Reserve (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)
Coast Guard Active Duty (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)
Coast Guard Reserve (Officers & Enlisted Personnel)

Maximizing Your Military Education Benefits

Find out how to save tens of thousands of dollars in education costs by visiting our Guide to Military Education Benefits, where we’ll teach you how to maximize your benefits with the Yellow Ribbon Program, Military Tuition Assistance, Military Student Loan Forgiveness and other Military Spouse Benefits.

Your service has earned these benefits, so be sure to put them to good use!

Please Help Me Out!

If this page helped you to better understand how Post 9/11 Transferability works, then please consider helping me out by sharing it with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

The more people that find out about this site, the more time I can dedicate to writing content like this.

Thank you for your support, and please be sure to visit again soon!

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored content as I don't accept any form of sponsored posts, advertorials, native advertising, influencer marketing or incentivized, paid or promoted content. However, this post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service linked to from this post, I will receive some form of compensation.


Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt, where he offers advice on paying off student loans as quickly, and cheaply, as possible. His new website Forget Tax Debt, offers similar advice to people with back tax problems.

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  1. Andrew R. Young says:


    I transferred the Post 911 GI Bill benefit to my son and he is using it successfully.

    My Ex-wife and her lawyer are demanding my GI Bill paperwork and threating to file court injunctions if I don’t provide it.

    The benefit is working well between my son and I. My Ex-wife wants proof that I am not or am using the BAH portion has income. Can they demand that?

    • Hi Andrew,

      I think you’d better consult with an attorney on this one. I am not sure if she has the right to demand access to that or not. It could be some sort of legal trick, but it could also just be a way for her to fish for getting more money out of you as well. I’d resist this unless someone says that you absolutely have to do it.

      One thing you could try is contacting the Student Loan Ombudsman Group. This is a free service provided by the Government, and they give legal advice on complicated student loan issues. Since GI Bill benefits fall under a similar category, it’s possible they’d be able to answer your question!

  2. Karmin Solomon says:

    Hi Nick,

    My husband is currently serving his 19th year of active duty and our son will be a senior in high school. He will likely go to an out of state college as we have no idea where “In-State” will be when he actually starts. It’s a long frustrating story, but my husband only has one or two months of transferable post 911 benefits. We are wondering if my son uses those two months and receives the newer in state benefit (for out of state students) would he still be able to pay in state tuition AFTER those two months are used up.

    • Hi Karmin,

      I think it’s going to depend on the school. Out of state vs. in state tuition is different in each school system (as each state’s system handles it differently) so it’ll probably depend on where you wind up living at the time he enrolls.

  3. I have a question
    I am in the reserve but I spent 10 years active I want to transfer some of my post 911 to my step son I know I have to add him to deer’s but he turns 18 soon and going to college in August is it to late to give him the benefits I am reinlisting this month for 4 years so I can retire please help

  4. How does divorce affect the already transferred 9/11 gi bill benefit to a step child? I transferred the benefit to my step child long prior to divorce. Now that the divorce is final is she still entitled to the remaining benefit? She will be coming out of deers since no longer considered a dependent.

  5. i served my ten years but had 2 years left and i was involuntary sep. and they rejected my approved post 911 transfer, mind you i already transferred it, now they wont answer my request to fix it.

  6. Ada Hardwick says:

    My daughter has just been notified of a 39,000 debt with VA for GI Bill overpayment because dad failed to complete service obligation, Is this dischargeable in bankruptcy?

    • Hi Ada,

      That is a big time bummer… and exactly what I tried to caution people against in the copy of this post. You can only count on the Post 9/11 Transferability benefits working if the service member completes their service contract!

      It’s possible that she MAY be able to have the loans discharged in bankruptcy, but it’s not an easy process. For details on how it works, visit my page on Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharges.

  7. Hi, Bill,

    While I know that the bulk of the questions folks are asking are about couples, I have a question regarding a dependent child. My father was with the National Guard, and he had initially signed to serve additional years of service in order for me to utilize the GI bill transfer. However, he failed to complete his service agreement in early 2015, a fact that I did not know about until just a few months ago. I have been attending school believing that the GI bill would cover my tuition, but now I am in a situation where debt collectors associated with the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs are contacting me personally for repayment. While I understand that the debt exists, I am befuddled as to why I – not my father – is responsible for the debt. Do you have any insights into whether this debt should be in my father’s name as he is the serviceman who failed to complete his service?

  8. Hello Tim,
    My fiance has served active for the last 3 years and received a Post-911 GI bill. He is currently using it for his diesel mechanic schooling. While in diesel mechanic school, he switched over to Army National Guard with a 6 year contract and received another GI Bill. I do not know which GI bill he received from National Guard. He does not plan to go to anymore schooling, but I will be going to graduate school soon. If I start school before we get married, could his benefits still be transferred after we get married?

    • I am not sure how to answer this, so I’d recommend that you contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group and ask them. They’ll definitely be able to help, and they will do it for free. Find them here.

  9. Hello,
    Before my divorce, my ex and I agreed that he will transfer all GI Bill benefit to me and also has provided proof of letter stating that if he did revoke the GI Bill during/after enrollment, he will have to pay the remaining balance of my tuition/stipend. Now that we’re divorced, I received a letter (certificate of eligibility) allowing me to go use the benefit. However, I was curious whether or not I will receive housing allowance. I just recently spoke to a VA representative to confirm whether or not I am eligible to receive housing allowance. They weren’t able to provide a 100% response. They said that if he is still currently active duty, I am ineligible to receive the housing allowance. They even mentioned that I shouldn’t be receiving the GI bill now that he and I divorced (no longer in DEERS). I am so confused. Then, I saw couple posts online saying that I can receive the housing allowance because I’m not married to the serviceman, therefore, I’m not “double dipping”, or I can’t receive the BAH regardless because he is still in the military. I don’t know what the real answer is, please shed light to this?

    • Hi Roxanne,

      If even the VA can’t tell you the deal, then there’s no way that I’m going to be able to clarify it. You need to find a way to escalate the question up the VA’s chain of command to get to someone who can answer the question for you. I am not that person.

  10. Kathy Vaughan says:

    My husband did 23 years in the Army as a Flight Surgeon and retired as a Colonel. He served during the 9/11 timeframe. The VA is telling him that he did not sign up for his children to receive the transfer of GI Bill at the time of his exit from the service. His children were toddlers at the time. He doesn’t remember ever being asked nor does he remember waiving that right. He retired in 2007. Do we have any recourse? Our children are now at college age.

  11. Tim,

    My Post 9/11 GI Bill remaining months that I transferred to my son has been approved. He is currently in 9th grade but I recently found out that due to medical issues and PTSD, I am now undergoing the MEB process and will not be in the Service by the time he reaches college age. I saw this above, “Children may use transferred benefits while you’re still in the armed forces, or after you’ve separated from active duty” and I just wanted to make sure I was reading it right. Are there any stipulations? What if I do not get a medical retirement? Can you explain what would cause my son to NOT receive the transferred benefits?

    • Hi Nick,

      No, I really can’t answer this question for you, because I have no official position with VA, DOD, etc. You need to talk to someone over there and get some answers from them on this. I think you will be fine though. Transferred benefits don’t have to be used while in service, like my statement there said, so I don’t see any issues here.

  12. Hi Tim,

    My husband is trying to transfer his GI bill to me (wife), he served for 6 years already and applied for another 4 years reenlistment since November 2016. But,until now his CWAY has not approved yet. He is not up to reenlistment until Feb 2018. Is there another option for him to transfer his GI BILL to me while waiting for his reenlistment or CWAY to be approve? My class was supposed to start January but it got pushed to April because of the CWAY approval.

  13. Alena Lynch says:

    Hi Tim,

    My husband has transferred the GI bill to me, at 100% eligibility. He is currently serving in the guard after leaving active duty. Will I be eligible for BAH with his current status?

  14. Diane Lawson says:

    Can children who have benefits transferred to them use the GI bill for grad school vice an undergrad degree if they meet the required age limits?

    • Hi Diane,

      I think you should be fine in doing that. I’m not sure what the word “vice” means in this context, so it’s hard to tell what you’re actually asking, but I think the answer is “Yes”. Contact VA/DOD for verification.

  15. Hello,

    My two kids were both given a portion of the Post 911 GI Bill from their father. Will they both be able to receive the BAH pay at the same time since they’ll both be attending college at the same time?

    • Hi Tania,

      You need to get in touch with the DOD/VA to find out. The laws keep changing on BAH and there are all sorts of weird qualifying issues that get involved. If they’re both able to get BAH at the same time, it’ll be split between them (they won’t both get to receive the full amount). The days of “double dipping” are definitely long-gone, that much I can tell you for sure.

  16. Hi Tim,
    I have already transferred some of my post 9/11 to my wife. Am I eligible to receive BAH the same as her, if I am not active duty? I’m thinking about transferring to the reserves.

    • Hi Mario,

      I think you’re eligible to receive whatever percentage of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits you’ve retained for BAH. The laws have become a little murky here though, so you really need to speak to someone from the VA/DOD.

  17. Hi Tim,

    I apologize about commenting on an older article, but I have a question I’m hoping you can help me with. My father transferred 33 months to me (his child) and 1 month each to my 3 step-siblings, he retired 2-3 years ago, and my 3 step-siblings are not going to use their allotted benefits, so he wants to transfer them to me. He tried using TEB to transfer, but it wasn’t working. You stated in the article that he must submit a written request to accomplish this – do you know if there is a specific form on the VA/milconnect website that he needs to fill out and send in? And do you know how I could find out where he needs to send the form/letter? I’m having trouble finding any information on this.

    Thank you for any help you can give me!

    • Hi Holly,

      I’m sorry, but I’m not sure where you could find that form or get this done now. I would contact the Department of Defense, the VA, or whatever service branch he was with to ask them directly. I do not think it’s going to be possible to get this transfer done though, as transfers are supposed to have taken place before leaving the service. BUT, it’s worth attempting, since it won’t cost you anything but time… good luck!

  18. I have already transferred my GI Bill benefits to my wife and children. If I were to pass away, would they still retain those benefits?

  19. Ron Murchison says:

    Hello, I already retired ( July 31,2015) I didn’t transfer my post 9/11 because of confusion… Is there a waiver I can get to transfer it to my daughter now

    • Hi Ron,

      I do not think you’ll be able to transfer your benefits after retiring. Your only hope would be to contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group and try to get them to lobby the military on your behalf. You can find their contact info here.

  20. I have used approximately 2 1/2 years of the 3 years my ex husband transferred to me from our divorce. I had no knowledge that he had to do an additional 4 years commitment or the benefits would be gone. Furthermore the troubling thing is that I am a former ITT TECH student and all of the campuses closed their doors. I have called over 30+ schools, most that promised to help only to find out they will transfer general eds only. The problem I have and my question is they are trying to say that since he did not fulfill his commitment I owe $50,000+ in debt!!!!!!! The federal government is offering student loan forgiveness, but for me they say I owe it and furthermore I have no degree and no money. Can they force me to pay meanwhile everyone else gets forgiven instead of making him pay? I WAS NOT TOLD NOR DID I SIGN ANYTHING saying I knew of this. Please help me. Not only did I waste 2 1/2 years of my life trying to get my nursing degree, but the GI BILL is trying to make me pay $50K when I can barely afford to live on my own. Thank you in advance.

  21. estefania rodriguez says:

    My Fiance was honorably discharged after 6 years in the Army this past June. He wants to transfer his Post 9/11 GI bill to me. Would I be eligible for his GI bill benefits?

    • Hi Esfania,

      I can’t answer that question for you – you’ll have to read through this page, paying close attention to the Eligibility Requirements. If he got out BEFORE transferring though, then I don’t think he’ll be able to do it.

  22. Alex Berryhill says:

    I completed 5 years of active duty and 3years of reserve time,currently my fiancé has over $30,000 in student loans.does this mean when we get married I can submit a form to transfer my 9/11 gi bill over to her

    • Hi Alex,

      You better speak with someone from your Chain of Command and ask about the Transferability guidelines. They may have changed since I originally wrote this content, and I don’t want you to get stuck in a bad situation.

      You should be able to transfer your 9/11 GI Bill to your wife though. Transferability guidelines should allow you to give the benefits to any dependent (wife or child, or some sort of split between wife/child, or between children, etc.).

      I think you’ll be alright, but I’d like you to make sure before deciding how to proceed.

  23. My husband transfered his gi bill to me while he was still active duty. He is out of the service under honorable conditions. I know i could not get bah while he was active duty. However, i have gotten so many mixed answers about whether i will receive a bah benefiy now that he is no longer on active duty.

  24. Nita Nolen says:

    Dear Sir, why was the post 9/11 bill changed on 2009. My husband retired in 2006. He went to his retirement class and was told his children would be able to go to college on his gi bill, now that he has retired we are now being told due to the law change our chikdren are no longer eligible for the transfer of benefits. My husband served 20 yrs from 86 to 2006. Just doesn’t seem fair that he was not informed or allowed to use these benefits. There needs to be a change in the gi bill rules. If you served you should always be able to use your benefits. We feel like we are being duped.

    • Hi Nita,

      I can’t answer why this change was put in place, but the way it works now is that benefits can’t be transferred after retirement. I would consider consulting with an attorney, or with the Student Loan Ombudsman Group (they are free) to see if there’s anything you can do to sue or apply for access to the benefits, since the law was changed AFTER your husband retired. It’s possible that it won’t apply to you specifically, and that you’d be grandfathered in under the old rules, and may still have access to his benefits.

  25. I am looking into grad school and my fiance has 4 years in the service. Can i start school now with student loans and he transfer his gi bill to me in 2 years (he plans to make the army his career so not worried about the additional time he would have to spend in the army) to put towards the payment of the loan when I will be almost done with school by that time? Thanks!

    • Hi Allie,

      No! You cannot do what you’re hoping to do. Military Student Loan Benefits are almost ALL about reducing the amount of money you’ll spend on higher education costs BEFORE they are incurred. You will not be able to have your fiance/husband transfer his GI Bill benefits to you, then apply to the student loan debt that you’ve accumulated RETROACTIVELY. DO NOT start spending until you’ve already had the benefits transferred to your name, and have made CERTAIN that they’ll be used to cover your costs.

  26. Can the GI Bill be used retroactively? Like after my fiance and I get married, can she choose to have her benefits be applied to my student loans?

  27. Samuel Long says:

    I am a drilling reservist. I have transferred some of my education benifits to my wife. We will both be attending school in the fall, different states. Will we both get BAH, or only one of us?
    Thank you

    • Hi Samuel,

      I’m pretty sure that BAH goes to only one person? You’re going to need to speak to someone in your chain of command for clarification though.

  28. Ameshica Burris says:

    My served 21 yrs and 6 months in the US Army. Retired with an honorable discharge and our son can’t receive any educational benefits. This bill didn’t exist when my husband retired in November 2002. But this federal law cuts out our son’s eligibility for any federal educational benefits. I know there are thousands of other veterans children not eligible for Post 9/11 transferable benefits. Does anyone know of any groups fighting this bill? This is ridiculous to spent thousands of dollars every semester on tutition annual. All because my husband can’t transfer educational benefits that never existed prior to him retiring.

  29. Hi
    How can I find out if my ex husband revoked my daughters transfer for eligibility. We had a verbal agreement he would designate it but now that she is heading to high school I believe he has redesignated it to another child or himself. Is there anyway to find out if it had been redesignated if she is only 14. I don’t want to find out her first week of college that it’s not there and would like to take legal action now since I have it in multiple emails that he would designate it to her as his contribution towards her college so I wouldn’t put a dollar amount or portion in our divorce degree.

    Thank you

    • Hi Denise,

      I would consult with your attorney on this one. They should be able to tell you how to proceed. I’m guessing they’ll serve him with a legal letter that requires he disclose the information, since it’s going to be important in determining the divorce settlement.

  30. My husband transferred his post 911GI bill to me but we are divorcing, will I be able to collect the BAH and the book stipend once the divorce is final?

    • That will depend on whether or not he changes how he’s structured his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (he can revoke or change the beneficiary of the benefits at any time, as long as he’s still in the service), and on the conditions of your divorce.

  31. I am divorced from my ex and receive child support for our 17 years old. He transferred half his Post GI Bill to her and she is entitled to housing allowance while she is in collge. My question is will that take place of the child support I receive from him?

    • Hi Jeannette,

      This depends on the arrangement that’s created when your divorce proceedings are finalized. I can’t answer that question for you. You should consult with your divorce attorney to find out for sure.

  32. I’m in the Airforce. I was wondering if my girlfriend has the GI bill from her father and gets BAH and we get married and I start getting BAH will they take her BAH away? Or will she get her BAH from her fathers GI bill and I also get BAH from just being active duty living off base. Thank you.

    • Hi John,

      I think you’ll be able to both receive BAH pay at the same time, but I’m not entirely certain. You should ask around, or send an inquiry up the chain of command.

  33. I’m an ex Marine who just got married in June 2015 my spouse have student loans is there any way that I can assist her in repaying the loan with a forgiveness program? Or any repayment program?

    • Hi Jones,

      Probably not, as the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and general military education benefits packages are all about preventing student loans from accumulating in the first place. There isn’t much in the way of forgiveness available, and that’s doubly so for the Marines. This branch of the Armed Services just doesn’t seem to value education all that much.

  34. Hello Tim,

    My husband transferred part of his GI Bill to me and it was approved. However, before he and I were married, I had my own student loans. While I paid them for quite a few years, they ended up in default and went to collections. Will my default status prevent me from actually using his transferred GI Bill benefits even though the transfer itself was approved?

    Thank you

  35. Hi Im 24 years old and my dad was trying to transfer his GI bill to me however people are saying I am not eligible for the transfer I should’ve got it when I was 23. I am in school full time and I have tricare my dad is still active duty what’s the problem?

    • Hi Nell,

      That doesn’t sound right to me. You should still be eligible. Service members can transfer benefits to their wives/husbands, so why not a grown up child?

  36. Hello Tim,

    I served 6 years on active duty in the Army. I am eligible at 100% for the Post 9/11 GI BILL. I am no longer on active duty or a reservist. I will be getting married in the spring of next year. I was hoping to transfer some of my GI Bill benefits for my future wife to use for a Masters degree. From what I’ve read, it looks like we would of needed to be married while I was on active duty. That seems a little silly. Am I NOT allowed to transfer some of my education benefits to my future wife? We would like to continue education in the U.K., therefore, I would only need to transfer two semesters (roughly 8 months) for a Masters.



    • Hi Robert,

      Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll be able to transfer you benefits to her. According to my interpretation of the rules on Transferability, all that needs to be worked out BEFORE you leave the service.

      However, just in case… please think about contacting the Student Loan Ombudsman Group and asking them what they think. They offer free legal advice to anyone dealing with issues related to Federal student loan debt, and they should be able to help you out.

      You can find them here.

      Please come back and let me know what they say! I’ve sent lots of people their way and always ask them to report back the findings, but I never hear back! I’d like to get a definitive answer on the transferability rules so that I can update my site accordingly.

      Thank you for your service Robert! And good luck!

  37. Jeanette butler says:

    My ex husband transferred 14 months of his post 9/11
    bill to my daughter ( his step daughter ) while we were still married. She started college a month ago, now he’s threatening to take it away from her. I know he’s able even as a retiree to revoke the remaining months. But can he do this, even if she already started using it ?

  38. My husband retired in 2011 and had switched his GI bill over to post 9/11 as instructed in his retirement briefing. He had NOT designated his daughter as the recipient of it. Can he now transfer his benefits to her? She is 19 and has completed high school.

    • Hi Heather,

      I don’t think he’ll be able to transfer his benefits if he hadn’t already designated them to go to someone while he was still a service member. Transferability rules stipulate that this must be done before service personnel retire.

      I would still have him try to use the Transfer of Benefits website and see if it’ll let him push something through.

      If that doesn’t work, then he should contact someone who can help from VA or DOD, but I think this is a long shot. It’s hard enough to get things done while personnel are still IN the military… doing it after the fact tends to be even more difficult.

      Sorry for the bad news, but good luck!

  39. Is it fraud for my friend’s father to allot the GI money to the son for a number of months, have tuition paid but then against the desire of the son, “take back” the other monthly allotment for housing and food and whatnot (coming out to thousands of dollars) as extra income for the father? His father considers it his own money but thinks the only way to access it is through his student children. I don’t think my friend would ever take any legal action, but I just want to know if that is acceptable and legal.

  40. Hello, I have found a big issue/flaw in transferring the GI Bill. I am 100% ok with this process, but something is being overlooked. So, this argument has me so heated that my Congressman was contacted and feels it is a great thing to be addressed in D.C. I have been about from the military since 2011 and have 2 combat tours under my belt. I was medically retired after 7 years on Active Duty Army at 100% and permanent due to war. Now here is my issue. Many service members are still able to serve proudly and fulfil this re-enlistment option to transfer there GI Bill to spouse or dependent (something I wish I was still able to do). Remember the GI Bill expires 10 years after you are released from duty. That means if you don’t use it, you lose it. I am 100% disabled due to mainly mental health as well as a few physical limitations. Here I sit mentally disabled with a GI Bill that is going to go to waste. Why can’t I transfer it with being 100% permanent? I do not have a purple heart (that would give my child schooling), but I do know that may child will qualify for chpt 34 that offers roughly $600-$700 a month. It does not help with any tuition, books, and is just used as an allowance. This is something that I have brought up to my Congressman. I know that there are other people in my situation. Any input?

    • Hi Brandon,

      First off, thank you for your service. Secondly, I think you should contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group to see if there’s anything they can do to help you out. They’re like a legal watchdog service that helps people resolve legal issues related to Federal student loan debt, and they may be able to do something for you. You can contact them here.

  41. hi, My husband is in MEB process and only served 3years he doesn’t want to attend school but I do, is there any waver for him to transfer his GI bill even though he wasn’t able to serve 6 years which is one of the requirement to transfer.?

  42. Luis Valencia says:

    Hello. I separated from the airforce in 2010. I was in for about 9.5 yrs and was forced out early due force reduction rules that year. I married in 2007, listed the wife as a dependant in DEERS, and am still married to her. I’m trying to find out if I can transfer my gi bill to the wife. I don’t plan on going to school for any other degrees. if you need any other info please let me know…


    • Hi Luis,

      First, thank you for your service.

      Second, the bad news is that you’re supposed to handle all the transferring before you get out of the service. You may be able to work something out, but I don’t think you’re going to be able to accomplish this.

      For additional information, try calling 1-888-GIBILL-1.

  43. My question is hypothetical, as I am trying to get a better understanding of how the bill can be transferred. If a person was to join the armed forces at the same time that they had a child, can the person transfer his benefits to his child when he has 10 years of service (and the child would be about 10 years of age at that time), or does he have to wait until the child is 18 before he can request a transfer? Basically I’m trying to figure out if you can transfer it to underage children when you have completed enough years of service, even though the children won’t be using the bill at the time of the transfer but a few years later, when they’ll be eligible. Thanks.

    • Hi Logan,

      I believe that you can transfer to underage children, but you should double-check that by contacting someone who can get you a for-sure answer.

      Call the DMDC/DEERS Support Office (DSO) at 800-538-9552 for details.

  44. Do you think it’s fair tor the dependents who used the Post 9/11 GI Bill under transfer of entitlement program to be strapped with a debt for all the benefits paid to them under this program when the parent doesn’t complete the agreed upon service obligation. These debts amount to thousands of dollars depending on how long they attended school and received payments

    • Hi Gloria,

      The thing about these types of benefits is that they’re contingent on the parent completing their service agreement.

      If they don’t complete the service agreement, then any benefits promised to them by the Government get revoked.

      It may not be fair for the children to get saddled with the debt, but that’s the way the current law is written.

      I agree that it’s not fair though, and my vote would be that the parent who failed to fulfill their service contract should end up being responsible for whatever money was promised to the dependent via the benefits transfer.

  45. Brigitte Becker says:

    Hello, my fiance and I are looking into the transfer of his GI bill however we are unsure if we would qualify. I have an existing loan balance and he is no longer active in the air force. I am confused with the requirements. Would he have to re-enlist as a reserve in order to transfer the gi bill? Or would the gi bill not cover an existing loan balance regardless?

    • Hi Brigitte,

      As far as I understand it, it’s only possible to alter or revoke Transfer of Entitlement requests once personnel have left the Armed Forces. That means your fiance won’t be able to set up a new transfer, since he’s already left the service.

      However, it’s difficult to tell exactly which rules apply in each and every case, and it’s possible that he will be able to transfer his benefits to you, even after having left the service.

      What I would suggest doing is calling this number – 800-525-0102 – this is the phone number for the Air Force Active Duty career counselor, who should be able to fill you in on exactly what is, and isn’t, possible.

  46. If my husband who is in the reserves transfers his Post 9/11 to me, can he still use his Montgomery GI he received while on active duty?

    • Hi Brittany,

      I may be misunderstanding the way things work here, but I was under the impression that it wasn’t possible to qualify for both the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill at the same time.

      As in, if you had access to Montgomery GI Bill benefits, but wanted access to the Post 9/11 GI Bill too, then you had to sacrifice your MGIB status to enroll in the Post 9/11 program.

      I would advise that you contact VA or have your husband speak with his supervisor to get an answer from an authority figure here, as I don’t want to steer you the wrong direction.

  47. Hi,

    Me and my ex husband were married 10 years and still on good terms. I have been reading about how Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits can be transferred to ex-wives as long as it’s listed in their divorce decree. Is that the only way that I could get benefits? Or can he still transfer them to me if he wishes, even after we are divorced?

    • Hi Victoria,

      Unfortunately, your husband can’t transfer his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to you after you’ve been divorced. The stipulations state that these benefits may only be transferred to spouses and children, so as an ex-spouse, you don’t qualify for eligibility.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  48. Mary Crawford says:

    I have a question about the housing allowance. My ex husband (who is active army) transferred his Post 9/11 GI Bill to me. Now that we are divorced am I eligible to receive the housing allowance? I have been told yes and no by a number of people. Thank you

    • Hi Mary,

      According to my understanding of the rules, I believe you should still be eligible to receive the housing allowance. You’ll need to speak to someone with the VA to get a proper answer though – only they get to make those kinds of decisions.

      • The Housing Stipend is based on the Service Members status. The ex-spouse of a service member cannot receive the housing stipend while the service member is on Active Duty orders. Only dependent children can receive the housing stipend while the service member is on active duty orders.

    • Will Nunez says:

      So did you get this matter resolved through the VA? My GF is in exactly the same situation.

  49. Hi,

    My former spouse and I agreed to pay 1/3 of our child’s college education; 1/3 was to be paid by our child. There was also a weekly child support order, for a second child, of $200 that was ordered by the court at the same time. Within months of the acceptance of the final divorce decree, my ex reduced the child support by $100; thereby, making it financially impossible for me to pay both the 1/3 of my eldest child’s college expense, and provide financial support for my second child. Unbeknowst to me, my ex transferred his 911 GI benefits to my child, and paid my third from the program funds. He then filed a comtempt complaint against me, and is requesting that I pay him the monies that were used to cover my third by the 911. GI program. Is this legal?

  50. My spouse will have completed his 6 year commitment on May 12th, 2015 & is planning to renlist. My question is, would he apply for transfer on 05/12/2015 or is he able to apply sooner but reflect transfer start date to indicate 5/12/15 or after?

    Also, since he is due to sign his option for renlistment this September 2014, would he elect the renlistment start date to reflect the same start date as the date of gi bill transferability?

    • Hi Sarah,

      What is your spouse trying to transfer – is he trying to give your his GI Bill benefits? If I were you and him, I would speak to his CO to get an authoritative answer on this question. They’ll know exactly what to do, and I don’t want to mislead you guys!

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