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Changes coming to G.I. Bill Transfer of Education Benefits for Guard, Reserve

Changes to Post 9/11 GI Bill transferability for members with more than 16 years of service extended from 12 July 2019 to 12 January 2020

Post 9/11 GI Bill transferability to eligible dependents for service members with more than 16 years of service is extended from July 12, 2019, Jan. 12, 2020. (Courtesy graphic)

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published online at www.afrc.af.mil May 17, 2019. Updates were made July 10, 2019. It's applicable to Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel. The message does not apply to personnel who have already executed a transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits and fulfilled the required service commitment.)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Effective January 12, 2020, the Department of Defense will issue a change per Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1341.13, Post-9/11 GI Bill, updating its policy on the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) by service members to eligible dependents. Changes are intended to more closely align transferability with its purpose and to underscore that the Post-9/11 GI Bill is a transition/adjustment benefit offered as a reward to service members during a time of conflict.

Changes in effect as of July 2018

  • Service members must be eligible to be retained for four years from the date of their election to transfer benefits, and not be precluded from serving for four more years prior to approval of their election by either standard policy (Department or Uniformed Service) or statute. If there are reasons that preclude a service member from committing to four years of service, they are not eligible to apply for transfer of his or her benefits (i.e. mandatory retirement date, high-year tenure, retention control point, and those who are not medically qualified).

  • Service members with a previously approved transfer request are separated under "force shaping" authorities and policies prior to completing their required four years of service resulting from the transfer of education benefits, retain their eligibility to transfer benefits. Effective immediately, the scope of "force shaping" was expanded to expressly include officers involuntarily separated as a result of being twice passed over for promotion (strict stipulations apply), and enlisted service members being separated under service high-year tenure policies or a change in these policies unless separated at high-year tenure subsequent to reduction in rank through administrative demotion, non-judicial punishment or court martial.

Changes that will become effective January 12, 2020

All changes will be included in the next rewrite of Air Force Instruction 36-2649, Voluntary Education Program.

To transfer benefits, follow the Post-9/11 GI Bill transfer step-by-step instructions at mypers.af.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/18621.

  • Eligibility to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits will be limited to service members with at least six years, but not more than 16 years, of total creditable service. The determination of service members' total years of creditable service will be based on the date of the member's TEB application, not the date the request is approved.

  • Requires service members who have not applied for TEB, who are on limited duty or involved in a Medical Evaluation Board, Physical Evaluation Board, or Disability Evaluation System process to wait until the process is complete before applying for transferability.

  • Requires service members who applied for TEB, but were denied due to insufficient retainability as a result of being on limited duty or involved in a Medical Evaluation Board, Physical Evaluation Board, or Disability Evaluation System process to request transferability again once they are fit for duty and commit to an additional four-year service obligation.

  • Members subsequently found fit for duty, but only after having accrued more than 16 years of total creditable service, will be allowed to apply to TEB again, provided the member applies to TEB within 90 days of being informed of the fit for duty determination.

  • Service members who have not applied, and who are subsequently found unfit for duty (with a medical separation/retirement order), but otherwise eligible to request to transfer their benefit (have six years), may not be approved for transferability with no additional service obligation.

For more information, visit myPers.af.mil or call the Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102.