Members of the United States armed forces are granted a variety of special benefits as a result of military service, including an education assistance benefit called the GI-Bill. This provides veterans with money for college tuition, living expenses and materials like books. Veterans that do not plan to use their education benefits may be able to transfer them to dependents such as a child or spouse.
Qualifying for GI-Bill Benefit Transfer
The transfer of GI-Bill education benefits (TEB) requires that a veteran meet the basic eligibly requirements for the Post 9/11-GI-Bill and certain additional requirements. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you must have served at least 90 days in the military on or after Sept. 11, 2001, to qualify for the Post 9/11 GI-bill, and to qualify for TEB, you must have served six years in the armed forces and agree to serve four more years at the time of electing to transfer benefits. If you have served 10 years and are eligible for retirement, you do not need to do extra service time to transfer benefits.
GI-Bill benefits only can be transferred to a spouse or child. The VA states that benefits can be split up between children and a spouse and that a subsequent marriage of a child or divorce from a spouse will not affect eligibility to receive benefits.
The VA allows veterans to transfer all of their unused GI-Bill benefits. The VA states that the education benefit of the GI-Bill amounts to 36 months of the maximum in-state tuition and fees at a public school in your state. Recipients may use benefits when the serviceman is still serving in the armed forces. The VA states that a spouse may start using benefits immediately while a child cannot use benefits until 10 years of service have been completed and the child has either earned a diploma or turned 18 years old.
Applying for Benefits Transfer
The VA says that you must use a Department of Defense benefit transferability application to determine whether your dependents are eligible to receive benefits. If you gain approval, your family members can apply to use transferred benefits by filling out and submitting VA Form 22-1990e. The VA host links to the transferability application and VA Form 22-1990e on its official website (see References).
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- Benefits for Veterans' Dependents