Want to transfer your GI Bill to a family member years later?

Matt Saintsing
November 14, 2018 - 12:56 pm

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A new bill would remove the Defense Department’s controversial Post-9/11 GI Bill transfer limits, allowing veterans to pass on their educational benefits to family members later in life.  

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is set to introduce the Veterans Education and Transfer Extension Act this week.

“We know that our nation’s veterans face unique challenges when returning to their communities, so we have an obligation to provide them the resources they have earned and deserve,” Booker said. 

“Allowing veterans who eventually have dependents to transfer their education benefits would put them on equal footing with veterans who had dependents while on active duty. It’s vital that we ensure our veterans are empowered for success as civilians, and this legislation takes an important step in fulfilling that commitment.”

The bill would allow veterans, who left military service without any dependents, to transfer their educational benefits to a spouse or child years after leaving the military. Where it stands now, GI Bill transfers must take place before the service member leaves the military. 

Booker’s measure would also change a Pentagon regulation blocking GI Bill transfers for service members who have more than 16 years in service. That rule is set to take effect next summer. 

Purple Heart recipients are exempt from the new policy. 

The proposed legislation would also expand educational benefits for remedial courses. 

Matthew Kelly, a veteran enrolled at Rutgers New Brunswick, had to take a year and a half of remedial classes before he could embark on his computer science major. Not wanting to waste his benefits, Kelly was forced to take on 40 academic credits in one year to accommodate the prerequisite courses. 

“I know the impact firsthand of the current limited eligibility for remedial courses,” he said. “While I passed all my classes by working rigorously, my GPA was still adversely impacted by taking so many courses at once.” 

Despite his hard work and grit, his GI Bill will run out before his last semester. 

“I am grateful for Senator Booker’s efforts to address this issue and his commitment to the success of our nation’s veterans,” said Kelly. 

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