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GI Bill Frequently Asked Questions

Department of Veterans Affairs FAQ website (searchable)

  1. If I transfer my benefits before 1 August 2013, what is my obligated service requirement?
  2. How many years do I have to serve in order to qualify for the transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill to my dependents?
  3. How do I get started on using my Montgomery or Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits?
  4. Can I transfer my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to my spouse and children? What if I retired before putting them down as beneficiaries?
  5. If I can't log on with a CAC or DOD logon, can I still transfer my benefits?
  6. What is the age limit for my child to be able to transfer Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to them?
  7. Can I transfer Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to an eligible ward?
  8. If I transferred my benefits while on active duty, can I reallocate or revoke the months of entitlement after I retire?
  9. After I transfer my benefits, what is the next step in the process for my dependents?
  10. What is a certificate of eligibility?
  11. How do I get a certificate of eligibility?
  12. Does prior Reserve time count toward the 6 years of service requirement?
  13. If I have been rejected, can I reapply? If so, how soon after rejection can I reapply?
  14. If I paid my $1200 into the Montgomery G.I. Bill and switched to the Post-9/11, will I get my $1200 back? If so, what are the guidelines?
  15. My dependent child will be going to school full time. Can you tell me how much he/she will receive for their housing stipend?
  16. My wife and I are both in the military. We have a son and a daughter. She transferred her benefits to our son. When I went in milConnect to transfer my benefits to our daughter, I couldn't because our daughter is also under my wife in DEERS. Can I transfer my benefits to my daughter?
  17. My spouse and I do not have any children yet. Assuming we have children in the future can I transfer the benefits to my spouse now and then subsequently transfer the benefits to our children?
  18. What happens if I transfer benefits now but get out of the CG prior to fulfilling my four-year G.I. Bill obligation?
  19. If I transfer my benefits to my spouse, do I have to transfer the benefits back to me before transferring to my child? Is there any obligated service associated with that?
  20. I am currently serving obligated service (payback tour for grad school). Does the four-year obligation run concurrently with my current obligated service, or is it cumulative (i.E. added once I complete my grad school obligated service)?
  21. I successfully transferred my education benefits to my dependents. I left the "End Date" blank so it will be determined by law. However, I notice that my "Obligation End Date" is listed in the system as 2017-03-04. How will this affect the education benefits in the system when that date comes?
  22. My ESO informed me that the TEB obligation end date resets every time I add a new dependent. However, after adding my youngest son in January of this year, I see the obligation end date didn't change. Is this accurate?
  23. I plan to RELAD into the SELRES. Will this affect my transfer of education benefits (TEB) to my dependents?
  24. Can I use my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill for other vocational training, such as trade school or to get my CPA?
  25. Am I entitled to a housing stipend from the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill if I am attending correspondence school or taking online classes?
  26. How do I check and see how many months of eligibility my dependents have used?
  27. How do I revoke transfer of my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Education benefits to my dependents?
  28. What, if any, are the parameters for being relieved of my obligated service accompanying the transfer?
  29. Is there an expiration of benefits for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?
  30. If I retire, can I still transfer my benefits?
  31. I retired from the military before 2009, am I or are my dependents eligible for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?
  32. If the member dies will on active duty and does not transfer their education benefits, is the spouse/dependents still eligible for VA education entitlements?
  33. I do not have dependents but I want to switch from the MGIB to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill so I can use the benefits. How can I switch to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?
  34. I retired from the military before the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was available. Do I have access to the benefit, and if not, is anything available to me?
  35. Can I use my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to get a pilot's license and does the school need to be a FAA Part 141 school? Will books and other materials be paid for under my benefit?
  36. What are the acceptable characters of service to be eligible for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?
  37. Can I combine my Montgomery and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits?
  38. If I am enrolled in an online-school, which benefit should I chose - Montgomery or Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?
  39. I transferred my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Education benefits to my dependents in 2012. Since I am unable to use tuition assistance for my Masters Program, I would like to use part of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits that I transferred to my dependents. What do I need to do for me to use part of my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefit?

 

 

 

 

If I transfer my benefits before 1 August 2013, what is my obligated service requirement?

The simplified rule for Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of education benefit of obligated service:

1.  If a member was retirement eligible as of 1 August 2009, no additional service obligation required. 
2.  If a member was retirement eligible from 2 August 2009 - 31 July 2010, they must obligate 12 additional months from date of transfer request. 
3.  If a member was retirement eligible from 1 August 2010 - 31 July 2011, they must obligate 24 additional months from date of transfer request. 
4.  If a member is retirement eligible from 1 August 2011 - 31 July 2012, they must obligate 36 additional months from date of transfer request. 
5.  Any member retirement eligible on/after 1 August 2012 must obligate 48 additional months. 
6.  Any member "involuntarily" and honorably discharged/retired, i.e., CRSP, medical board, disability, etc., no matter how long they've been in, can transfer benefits while still on Active Duty without having to obligate additional service time. 
7. Starting 1 August 2013, "all" service members, other than those separated for medical reasons, regardless of retirement eligibility date, will have to obligate 48 additional months of service from date of their transfer request.

 

 

 

How many years do I have to serve in order to qualify for the transfer of my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to my dependents?

You must have a minimum of 6 years in the armed forces and obligate an additional 4 years from the date of transfer.

 

 

 

How do I get started on using my Montgomery or Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits?

Applying is easy. Click here to begin your application process through VA.

 

 

 

Can I transfer my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to my spouse and children? What if I retired before putting them down as beneficiaries?

Those who meet the time in service requirements and apply for transfer of benefits while still on active duty can transfer Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to spouses and dependents. However, dependents must be named and assigned at least 1 month of the benefits available prior to discharge. The transferred months can be changed at any time. Click here to transfer your Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits to your dependents.

 

 

 

If I can't log on with a CAC or DOD logon, can I still transfer my benefits?

Yes. The easiest way to transfer benefit months to your dependent(s) is to create an account in eBenefits. eBenefits is a new portal created by the Department of Veterans Affairs to manage all of your VA claims, including the TEB after you retire. This website will be vital to you if you want to reallocate your months of entitlements to your dependents after you leave active duty. The best time to sign up for eBenefits is while on active duty, utilizing your Common Access Card (CAC) to obtain a personal login/password.

You may also use a surrogate transfer form as long as you are still on active duty. If the member is not on active duty, then they cannot transfer.

 

 

 

What is the age limit for my child to be able to transfer Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to them?

The DEERS eligible dependent child must be under the age of 23 to transfer Post-9/11 G.I. Benefits. If the service member is initially transferring benefits to a dependent child between 21-23 years of age, the dependent child must be a full time student at an accredited institution of higher learning. Dependent children will have until the day before their 26th birthday to exhaust their transferred benefits.

 

 

 

Can I transfer Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to an eligible Ward?

At this time, the answer is no.

 

 

 

If I transferred my benefits while on active duty, can I reallocate or revoke the months of entitlement after I retire?

Yes, but only to a dependent or spouse you have already transferred at least one month of the entitlement to. You have to write a letter to the VA with your name and the names of the dependents and/or spouse. Include in the letter the social security numbers (including yours) and "spell out" how many months of entitlement you want each dependent and/or spouse to have.

 

 

 

After I transfer my benefits, what is the next step in the process for my dependents?

Each family member must first apply for a "Certificate of Eligibility" from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) before they can use their transferred benefits. Once the DVA receives the request data and VA Form 22-1990e, they will be able to process your family members' requests to use their benefits. The application for the certificate of eligibility (VA Form 22-1990e) can be found through the Department of Veterans Affairs' VONAPP website.

 

 

 

 

What is a certificate of eligibility?

A letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating the individual requesting benefits is eligible for these benefits.

 

 

 

 

How do I get a certificate of eligibility?

You get a certificate of eligibility by filling out a VONAPP (VA online application at www.gibill.va.gov) or a paper copy of a VA form and sending it to the VA for approval consideration. Service members must complete a VA Form 22-1990 and dependents must complete a VA Form 22-1990e.

 

 

 

Does prior Reserve time count toward the 6 years of service requirement?

Yes, when a service member integrates into active duty from SELRES, any Title 10, ADOS or call-up on active orders while SELRES count toward the 6 years of service required for Post-9/11 GI Bill TEB. Training time does not count toward this 6 year requirement.

 

 

 

If I have been rejected, can I reapply? If so, how soon after rejection can I reapply?

You can reapply if you have been rejected as soon as you meet the requirements to transfer.

 

 

 

 

If I paid my $1200 into the Montgomery GI Bill and switched to the Post 9/11, will I get my $1200 back? If so, what are the guidelines?

Yes. When all the Post 9/11 benefits are exhausted, your last housing stipend check from the VA will include your MGIB reimbursement. This reimbursement will be prorated if any MGIB benefits were used.

 

 

 

My dependent child will be going to school full time. Can you tell me how much he/she will receive for their housing stipend?

Defense travel BAH calculator

Enter the zip code of the degree granting institution and select E-5 pay grade. Click on the "Calculate" button and it will determine the monthly allowance that the student will receive. Students will receive E-5 "dependent" rate BAH. The student must be full time and take at least one in residence course per semester/term to receive the full housing stipend.

 

 

 

 

My wife and I are both in the military. We have a son and a daughter. She transferred her benefits to our son. When I went in milConnect to transfer my benefits to our daughter, I couldn't because our daughter is also under my wife in DEERS. Can I transfer my benefits to my daughter?

Yes, the easiest way for you to add the children is for you to take their birth certificates and social security cards to your local DEERS/RAPIDS office and have the children added under your DEERS account for "education" purposes only. Once added, you should be able to go into the TEB and transfer your benefits to your daughter.
Click here for milConnect.

 

 

 

My spouse and I do not have children yet. Assuming we have children in the future, can I transfer the benefits to my spouse now and then subsequently transfer the benefits to our children?

Yes, if the service member is eligible and transfers education benefits to their spouse, they can reallocate these benefits to their children at a later date as long as the Post-9/11 GI Bill TEB program is still available.

 

 

 

What happens if I transfer benefits now but get out of the CG prior to fulfilling my four-year GI Bill obligation?

If the service member elects to leave the armed forces prior to fulfilling his/her obligated service requirement, they must revoke transfer of education benefits (TEB) to their dependents prior to OPM, EPM or RPM approving their request for separation/discharge/retirement.

 

 

 

If I transfer my benefits to my spouse, do I have to transfer the benefits back to me before transferring to my child? Is there any obligated service associated with that?

No, there is no need to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits back to you before "reallocating" the benefits to your child. As long as you "reduce" the amount that's transferred to your spouse to at minimum one month, you can reallocate as many months to your child as you wish; up to a maximum of 36 months transferred benefits. This is assuming no VA Education benefits were used prior to transfer. Once you have successfully reallocated the amount to your child, if you choose, you can then "revoke" the last month that you initially transferred to your spouse and reallocate that month to your child; for a total of 36 months to your child. This keeps you in the same initial TEB "contract" and you will not incur any additional obligated service associated with the "reallocation" of your benefits. ***Note*** This office recommends individuals to keep at least one month transferred benefit to each dependent, just in case you elect to reallocate months to your dependents after you leave the armed forces. If you do not have at least one month TEB on each dependent prior to your separation/discharge/retirement from the armed forces, you "CANNOT" allocate months to your dependents later.

 

 

 

I am currently serving obligated service (payback tour for grad school). Does the four-year obligation run concurrently with my current obligated service, or is it cumulative (i.e. added once I complete my grad school obligated service)?

Post-9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Education Benefits obligated service requirement runs concurrently with other USCG obligated service requirements.

 

 

 

I successfully transferred my education benefits to my dependents. I left the "End Date" blank so it will be determined by law. However, I notice that my "Obligation End Date" is listed in the system as 2017-03-04. How will this affect the education benefits in the system when that date comes?

Your “Obligation End Date” is the date that you must stay in the armed forces to complete the time requirement for transfer of benefits.

 

 

 

 

My ESO informed me that the TEB obligation end date resets every time I add a new dependent.  However, after adding my youngest son in January of this year, I see the obligation end date didn't change.   Is this accurate?

Yes, the “Obligation End Date” is associated with your initial TEB and not if/when you add months to a new dependent while in the armed forces. It does not change unless you revoke transfer of benefits to all of your dependents and then reapply for TEB at a later date. The new obligation end date will be 48 months from the date that you reapply for TEB.

 

 

 

I plan to RELAD into the SELRES. Will this affect my transfer of education benefits (TEB) to my dependents?

If you leave active duty and enter a drilling billet of the select reserve the very next day, it will not affect your TEB. If there is at minimum one day break in service, your TEB will be revoked and you must reapply for transfer. Your 48 month mandatory obligated service requirement will start with the new TEB application.

 

 

 

Can I use my Post-9/11 GI Bill for other vocational training, such as a trade school or to get my CPA?

Yes, the Post-9/11 GI Bill can be used for vocational training. For more information, please click here.

 

 

 

Am I entitled to a housing stipend from the Post-9/11 GI Bill if I am attending correspondence school or taking online classes?

If you are taking all classes online you are eligible for up to 50% of the national average housing stipend. If you are taking correspondence courses, special rules apply. To learn more about correspondence schools under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, please click here.

 

 

 

How do I check and see how many months of eligibility my dependents have used?

The easiest way is to create an account in eBenefits.  EBenefits is a new portal created by the Department of Veterans Affairs to manage all of your VA claims, including the TEB after you retire.  This website will be vital to you if you want to reallocate your months of entitlements to your dependants after you leave active duty. The best time to sign up for eBenefits is while on active duty, utilizing your Common Access Card (CAC) to obtain a personal login/password.  https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/

After you have created an eBenefits account, you can create an eBenefits account for your dependents. They can then go in their eBenefits account and see exactly how many months of transferred benefits they’ve used.

 

 

 

How do I revoke transfer of my Post-9/11 GI Bill Education benefits to my dependents?

You must go back into the DMDC milConnect Portal, https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/beneficiary/consent?continueToUrl=%2Fmilconnect%2Ffaces%2Fpages%2Fprivate_home.jspx and revoke your transfer (Return transfer months to zero, check the “revoke” box and hit submit). If any benefits were used, you will be placed in an overpayment status by the Department of Veteran Affairs. You are also required that you visit the PSD (FS) website (http://www.uscg.mil/psc/psd/fs/GI_Bill.asp),  print the Revocation of Post 9/11 Transfer Benefits, sign, date, and email or fax the completed form to reidus.stokes@uscg.mil.

 

 

 

What, if any, are the parameters for being relieved of my obligated service accompanying the transfer?

They are mandated to separate by a medical board, mandatory retirement, or reduction in force.

 

 

 

Is there an expiration of benefits for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

Yes. In most cases, servicemembers, spouses and veterans will need to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill within 15 years of their last discharge from the military. Dependent children have to exhaust their transferred benefit before their 26th birthday.

 

 

 

If I retire, can I still transfer my benefits?

No, you cannot. Enacted legislation (38 USC 3319) prohibits service members no longer on active duty from transferring of educational benefits. The legislation specifically states "an individual approved to transfer entitlement to educational assistance under this section may transfer such entitlement only while serving as a member of the armed forces when the transfer is executed."

There are no provisions at this time to allow individuals to transfer benefits once they are no longer members of the armed forces. Unless there is a future change to the enacted legislation, you will not be eligible to transfer educational benefits to your dependents after you retire.

 

 

 

I retired from the military before 2009, am I or are my dependents eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

Anyone who served at least 90 days on active duty after September 11, 2001, is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Those who served less than 36 months since 9/11/2001 will receive a reduced benefit. Those who retired prior to August 1, 2009, are not eligible to transfer benefits to their dependents. For information on eligibility and transferability, please click here.

 

 

 

If the member dies will on active duty and does not transfer their education benefits, is the spouse/dependents still eligible for VA education entitlements?

Yes. The dependents are eligible for Survivor and Dependent Assistance Program. The spouse would be eligible for the Dependent Assistance Program.

 

 

 

I do not have dependents but I want to switch from the MGIB to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill so I can use the benefits. How can I switch to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?

There are a couple of ways you can switch to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Educational Assistance Program without transferring benefits to dependent(s).
    1. You can complete a VA Form 22-1990 and mail it to the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office closest to you. This process can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 3 months to update.
    2. Create/Login to eBenefits website. This is the most beneficial way to access all of your information dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). eBenefits is a new portal created by the DVA to manage all of your VA claims including the TEB, especially after you have retired/separated from the United States Armed Forces. The best time to sign up for eBenefits is while on active duty, utilizing your Common Access Card (CAC) to obtain a personal login/password.
            https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/
        a) Once you've logged into the eBenefits website, use the "Search" box at the top of the page and search for "VONAPP".
        b) Click on the first result, "ebenefits - Apply for Veterans Benefits Online (VONAPP)"
        c) If prompted, login to VONAPP On-line Application.
        d) Select VA Form 22-1990
        e) Complete VA Form 22-1990 and submit electronically to the DVA.
You should receive a Letter of Eligibility from the DVA within 6 - 8 weeks.

 

 

 

I retired from the military before the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was available. Do I have access to the benefit, and if not, is anything available to me?

Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are dependent on the length of service post-September 11, 2001. Veterans with a service-connected disability may also qualify for the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. The VOW to Hire Heroes Act also contains training benefits for unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60. To learn more about eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and other VA educational programs, please click here.

 

 

 

Can I use my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to a get a pilot's license and does the school need to be a FAA Part 141 school? Will books and other materials be paid for under my benefit?

You cannot use your Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for your initial private pilot’s license but you can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for certain types of additional flight training. To learn more about the benefit, please click here.

 

 

 

What are the acceptable characters of service to be eligible for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill?

The only acceptable Character of Service is Honorable.

 

 

 

Can I combine my Montgomery and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits?

No. Service members and veterans are allowed to only use one education benefit program at a time. However, in some cases you may be able to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill when you have exhausted your Montgomery GI Bill. To learn more, please click here.

 

 

 

If I am enrolled in an online-school, which benefit should I choose – Montgomery or Post-9/11 G.I. Bill?

For most students, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is more generous than the Montgomery GI Bill, but every student that qualifies for both should compare the benefits available through each before making a decision. For example, if you are studying strictly online you will see a 50% reduction in your Post-9/11 GI Bill living stipend.

Please note: If someone is eligible for both programs, the decision to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill is an irrevocable decision and the Montgomery GI Bill will no longer be available.

 

 

 

I transferred my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Education benefits to my dependents in 2012. Since I am unable to use tuition assistance for my Masters Program, I would like to use part of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits that I transferred to my dependents. What do I need to do for me to use part of my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefit?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) uses two separate systems to track Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Transfer of Education Benefits. These two systems do not interact so you will need to:
#1: Go back into the TEB and reallocate the months transferred to your dependents to how many months that you want them to have.
https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/beneficiary/consent?continueToUrl=%2Fmilconnect%2Ffaces%2Fpages%2Fprivate_home.jspx
If you plan on "revoking" your transferred benefit (not recommended), you must return transfer months to zero and select the "revoke" option.
 
#2: Once you have reduced or revoked transferred months to your dependent(s), you will also need to write a letter to your servicing DVA regional office with your name and the names of the dependents and/or spouse, informing them that you have reallocated your transfer months in the milConnect TEB web application. Include in the letter the social security numbers (including yours) and "spell out" how many months of entitlement you want each dependent and/or spouse to have. Also inform them that you want the remaining un-transferred benefit months reverted back to you, the service member.
 
Eastern Region: (Servicing CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV, Foreign Schools) VA Regional Office P.O. Box 4616 Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
 
 
Central Region: (Servicing CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, SD, TN, WI, WY) VA Regional Office P.O. Box 66830 St. Louis, MO 63166-6830
 
 
Western Region: (Servicing AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, HI, ID, LA, MS, NM, NV, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, Philippines, Guam, APO/FPO AP) VA Regional Office P.O. Box 8888 Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
 
 Southern Region: (Servicing FL, GA, NC, SC, PR, US Virgin Islands, APO/FPO AA) VA Regional Office P.O. Box 100022 Decatur, GA 30031-7022

 

 

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Last Modified 1/8/2014