For the first time in history, service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program will be able to transfer unused educational benefits to their spouses or children.

The transferability option under the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows Servicemembers to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The request to transfer unused GI Bill benefits to eligible dependents must be completed while serving as an active member of the Armed Forces.  The Department of Defense (DoD) determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. Once the DoD approves benefits for transfer, the new beneficiaries apply for them at VA. To find out more, visit DoD's website or apply now.


Who is Eligible to Transfer Benefits to their Dependents?

Eligible Servicemembers may transfer all 36 months or the portion of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (unless DoD or the Department of Homeland Security has limited the number of transferable months). Family members must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits at the time of transfer to receive transferred benefits.If you're eligible, you may transfer benefits to the following individuals:

  • Your spouse
  • One or more of your children
  • Any combination of spouse and child

Any member of the Armed Forces (active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted) on or after August 1, 2009, who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and:

  • Has at least six years of service in the armed forces (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of approval and agrees to serve four additional years in the armed forces from the date of election.
  • Has at least 10 years of service in the armed forces (active duty and/or Selected Reserve) on the date of approval, is precluded by either standard policy (by Service Branch or DoD) or statute from committing to four additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.
  • Transfer requests are submitted and approved while the member is in the armed forces.
  • Effective 7/20/19, eligibility to transfer benefits will be limited to sevicemembers with less than 16 years of active duty or selected reserve service.
  • Effective August 1, 2011, commissioned officers of the Public Health Service (PHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are eligible to transfer benefits to their dependents. 

Transfer Process. While in the armed forces, transferors use the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) website to designate, modify, and revoke a Transfer of Entitlement (TOE) request. After leaving the armed forces, transferors may provide a future effective date for use of TOE, modify the number of months transferred, or revoke entitlement transferred by submitting a written request to VA. Submit a TEB request now for your Service component approval (non-VA Link). (NOTE: When the milConnect Home page displays, select Education then Transfer of Education Benefits [TEB] from the menu bar.)

Upon approval, family members may apply to use transferred benefits with VA by applying online or by printing, completing, and mailing the VA Form 22-1990e to your VA Regional processing office of jurisdiction. VA Form 22-1990e should only be completed and submitted to VA by the family member after DoD has approved the request for TEB. Do not use VA Form 22-1990e to apply for transfer of education benefits.

Please visit www.gibill.va.govfor the most up-to-date information regarding transferring benefits to dependents.


Determine Your Eligibility Tier

Active duty service after 9/10/01 determines the benefit percentage:

Member Serves:
% of Max. Benefit Payable

At least 36 months 1

100*

At least 30 continuous days on active duty and must be discharged due to service-connected disability

100*

At least 30 months
< 36 months 1

90*

At least 24 months
< 30 months 1

80* 3

At least 18 months
< 24 months 2

70* 3

At least 12 months
< 18 months 2

60*

At least 6 months
< 12 months 2

50*

At least 90 days
< 6 months 2

40*

 

*Applicable percentage applies to tuition and fees, monthly housing allowance, & books and supplies stipend.
*Service member's applicable percentage will transfer to the dependent(s).

1 Includes entry level (Basic AIT and branch specific skill training)

2 Does NOT include entry level (Basic AIT and branch specific training)

3 If the service requirements are met at both the 80 and 70 percentage level, the maximum percentage of 70 must be applied to amounts payable


Other Factors to Consider

Marriage and Divorce

  • A child's subsequent marriage will not affect his or her eligibility to receive the educational benefit; however, after an individual has designated a child as a transferee under this section, the individual retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.
  • A subsequent divorce will not affect the transferees eligibility to receive educational benefits; however, after an individual has designated a spouse as a transferee under this section, the eligible individual retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.

Reallocation of Benefits

If a Veteran or Servicemember wants to reallocate transferred benefits they can do so using the TEB Portlet in MilConnect at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect.

Reallocation of Benefits if a Family Member Dies

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Assistance Act of 2017, allows for designation and transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to eligible dependents of the Veteran/servicemember upon the death of the Veteran/servicemember or of a dependent who had unused transferred benefits. See our web page here.

Nature of Transfer

Family member use of transferred educational benefits is subject to the following rules:

Spouses

  • May start to use the benefit immediately
  • May use the benefit while the member remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
  • Are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance while the member is serving on active duty
  • If servicemember’s last discharge was before January 1, 2013, can use the benefit for up to 15 years after the last separation from active duty. If the servicemember’s last discharge is after January 1, 2013, there is no time limit to use benefits

Children

  • May start to use the benefit only after the individual making the transfer has completed at least 10 years of service in the armed forces
  • May use the benefit while the eligible individual remains in the armed forces or after separation from active duty
  • May not use the benefit until he or she has attained a secondary school diploma (or equivalency certificate), or he or she has reached age 18
  • Is entitled to the monthly housing allowance stipend even though the eligible individual is on active duty
  • Is not subject to the 15-year delimiting date, but may not use the benefit after reaching 26 years of age

More Information

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