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April 12, 2011
By Master Sgt. Christina Steiner, HRC Public Affairs
FORT KNOX, Ky. (April 8, 2011) -- Servicemembers wanting to transfer their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to dependent children must do so before they retire and their children will need to be full-time college students enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System by age 21.
The benefits must also be transferred by the time the dependent is 23, and the dependent has until age 26 to use them, said Teddi Embrey, a human resource specialist who works in the Education Incentives Branch of the Adjutant General Directorate, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
Failure to comply with the transfer before retirement and transfer by the time the dependent is 23 are the top two reasons Soldiers are denied transfer benefits, said Sarah Rowley, chief of the Education Incentives Branch. Soldiers sometimes file erroneous congressional inquiries based upon this, she added.
Dependents must take an active interest in college yearly because the DEERS staff regularly checks their enrollment status, and they will be dropped from DEERS if they're not full-time students, Rowley said.
Soldiers interested in transferring Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to qualifying children start the process through the Education Incentives Branch, Embrey said. They must also be on active duty or a selected Army Reserve Soldier.
"We're not having many problems with the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill itself," Rowley said. "It's with the transferring process and people not getting all the information correct."
Rowley explained that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs keeps numbers on overall servicemembers who use the G.I. Bill. Since the transfer process began nearly two years ago, 58,000 Soldiers have transferred their benefits, including National Guard Soldiers, she said.
"Different agencies work the transfer process, depending upon what type of category the Soldier falls into - enlisted, officer, warrant officer, and depending upon career field," Rowley said.
Additional notes defining eligibility for transferability of education benefits include:
-- Not barred for reenlistment or flagged due to adverse personnel actions
-- Have at least six years of service on the date of request
-- Have completed a minimum of six years in the armed forces and agree to serve another four years from the date of request, or
-- Have at least 10 years of service on the date of election and not be able to commit four more years due to a retention-control point or mandatory retirement date, and commit to serve for the maximum time allowed by either the Retention Control Point or the MRD as the date of request, or
-- Have served at least 20 years on or before Aug. 1, 2009, therefore, no additional service required.
Requests to transfer benefits begin by using the DoD's Transferability of Education Benefits website at: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/TEB/. Steps include:
-- Check the "Post-9/11 G.I.Bill Chapter 33."
-- Edit the information for any transferees
-- Check all the "Transferability" acknowledgments
-- Print a copy for records and submit electronically
Upon receiving DoD approval, apply through the Veterans Affairs online application at: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp and use Form 22-1990E.
"We are administrators of the program, but the VA makes the legislation," Rowley said.
For more information, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (Education) at 1-888-4551 or visit www.gibill.va.gov.
If enlisted Soldiers experience problems, they should contact their retention NCO/career counselor office; officers between the ranks of first lieutenant to lieutenant colonel and warrant officer 1 or selected reserves should contact the HRC Education Incentives Branch officer at 1-800-872-8272.
For more information on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill transfer process or other education services, call 1-888 ARMYHRC (276-9472) or email the EIB at: firstname.lastname@example.org.