I often field questions from pre-August 1, 2009 retirees that are disgruntled that they never had an opportunity to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependent family members. If you are not aware of the issue, 20-year+ veterans retiring between December 10, 2001 and July 31, 2009, are fully eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer option being they are “retirement eligible” and served for at least three years after September 10, 2001 (active duty) or 90-days on a Title 10 order after that same date (National Guard or Reserves).
However, when Congress wrote the transfer rules for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the transfer requirement was serving “on or after August 1, 2009”. By that time this group of veterans had retired – some missing the August 1st date by one day.
There have been a couple pieces of legislation in the past that would have allowed these veterans their opportunity to transfer, however, not only did the legislation not pass, neither piece even came up for a vote; subsequently both pieces expired and died in place.
Right now, there is a petition circulating on behalf of all 20-year + eligible veterans who retired during the December 10, 2001 – July 31, 2009 window. The petition part reads:
“We, the undersigned, call on the President Obama to initiate a Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer-of-Benefits equality and fairness to 20+ year retired Military Veterans in both groups, as defined in the Preamble, retiring between, and including, December 10, 2001 to July 31, 2009, by allowing them a one-time opportunity to pass on unused Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependent family members.”
If you would like to read the preamble part of the petition, which gives the background information and defines the veterans in each affected group, please click on the link above. Right now there isn’t any federal legislation that would provide for this change. There is no way of knowing if this effort will be successful or not, but it needs your support. As most of us know, there is power in numbers.
Photo thanks to ArmyStrongPA under creative commons license on Flickr.