Better Instructions To Transfer GI Bill

Use the GI BIll.

Last week, Navy leadership announced an update to the official instruction for the transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members.  While it is a Navy specific instruction, the information it contains might be useful all service members who are transferring their benefits.  Hopefully, this new instruction will clear up some of the past confusion about how and when to transfer benefits.  Confusion about the benefits transfer process has been a common complaint since the new educational benefit program was announced in 2009.

Active duty service members and reservists are eligible to transfer some or all of their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or child(ren) if the meet the specific criteria required for their duty status to transfer benefits.  This new instruction contains a simple checklist that can be followed to ensure that the transfer is completed properly and successfully.

The instruction includes a simple breakdown of the Transfer of Benefits (TEB) steps that need to be completed.  The steps include:

  1. Verifying that the family member is properly enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
  2. Ensuring that the required 4 year additional service obligation is properly documented in the military records system.
  3. Log on to the milConnect web site and designate at least 1 month to each desired family member.  Be sure to hit submit.  Take a screen shot of the confirmation page that will be displayed for your records (that’s my tip, not theirs.)
  4. Log out of milConnect, then re-enter the system and verify that the status has been changed to “submitted.”  This status is located at the top of the page underneath the name of the sponsor.
  5. Check the web page regularly until the status changed from “submitted” to either “request approved” or “request rejected.”  (I recommend you take a screen shot of that, too.)
  6. If your request was rejected, repeat the steps listed above.  The most common reason that requests are rejected is because there is insufficient contract time remaining to fulfill a 4 year service obligation.

The milConnect website also has very clear and helpful instructions on the process.

If you have any trouble with the transfer of your benefits, you can check with your installation’s education office or your personnel office for assistance.

Be sure to keep track of your eligibility for benefits transfer, and I recommend transferring benefits at the earliest eligible moment.  Once you’ve designated at least one month to each person who might want to use them, you have the ability to change or revoke the benefits transfer at any time.  However, you must make the original transfer request during a time frame in which you meet the eligibility requirements.

The ability to transfer Post 9/11 educational benefits is a tremendous thing.  Make sure you are able to utilize this option by knowing and taking the appropriate steps at the appropriate times.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Randy

    There should also be another step added. You need to tell the VA you have done the benefit transfer. I transferred some months to my daughters and waited three months calling every month to check the status and finally one of the techs at the VA said I needed to send a letter or email to the VA stating I had done the transfer. Once I notified the VA the transfer was complete in about two days. I saw the request approved when I did the transfer, however the VA said all that means is it was transferred in milConnect, doesn’t mean the VA processed the transfer. milConnect and the VA are two separate systems and they do not talk so you need to tell the VA to go out and pull the transfer into their system, it is not done automatically. Also you get no indication from the milConnect site you need to inform the VA.