Friday, August 7, 2009

Post 9-11 GI Bill

Have you checked out that new Post 9-11 GI Bill yet?

I tend not to pay attention to such things because I figure I've already got my college education taken care of, so it's not really applicable to me.



In return for 4 years of obligated service, you get 36 months of:
  • Tuition (up to the rate of the highest in-state tuition)
  • Room & Board (at the rate of an E-5 with dependents)
  • Books
You can transfer any number of whole months to any of your dependents, and you can change the allocation at any time. So I could sign up now and allocate 18 months for ES and 18 months for YB. Let's say that later on, ES decides to go to a military academy or gets some other type of full-ride, then I could transfer his 18 months and give YB the entire 36 months.

Okay, so I hear you saying to yourself, "Self, if it's such a great deal, then why hasn't blunoz signed up for it yet?"

That's an excellent question, and I'll tell you why. They (the people who administer the program) have asked that if you don't have dependents in need of USING the education benefits this fall, then hold off. Let the people sign up who want to start using the benefits in the next couple of months. After the initial rush of people sign up, then I'll sign up sometime in the fall.

Heck, I've got 15 years in now, I'd be stupid not to stay in until 20 for retirement, so why not sign up for the 4 years of obligated service? It seems like a no-brainer to me.

Don't wait TOO long though! On the Navy Personnel Command website, I read a question, "Can I wait until after I retire to sign up?" The answer they posted on the website:
Sailors must transfer benefits BEFORE leaving the Armed Forces. If uncertain, transfer a few months each to your spouse and each child. You can adjust allocations to each later. Remember if you died unexpectedly, the transfer rights die with you. Do it now. Update DEERS and get re-enlistment papers in place, then elect transfer.
So what do you all think? Am I missing something in the fine print? It this deal too good to be true?

To learn more, you can read the NAVADMIN message about eligibility and transfer of benefits, or you can visit the website here (I think you have to access the website from a .mil domain).


Allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

My husband had an appt with the va(i think) to transfer benefits to me. Application has to be done on a DOD computer. Super excited though. Start school in Jan!

blunoz said...

Here's some gouge sent to me by friends in Millington:


Passing along another key lesson learned concerning the benefits transferability feature of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill:

*** To preserve your right to transfer benefits from one dependent to another after your retirement, you MUST transfer at least one (1) month of benefits to EACH dependent BEFORE you leave active duty. ***

Example (BAD):
- You have 3 children (Alpha, Bravo, & Charlie) and a dependent spouse (Omega).
- Using the Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) website, you designate Alpha to receive all 36 months of your benefits.
- Using TEB, you designate Bravo, Charlie, and Omega to receive zero benefits.
- You retire.
- After your retirement, Alpha (for whatever reason) either doesn't use the benefits, or doesn't use all of them.
RESULT: Your remaining benefits CANNOT be transferred to Bravo, Charlie, or Omega! (Ouch! ... Omega will NOT be amused!)

Example (GOOD):
- While still on active duty, using TEB, you transfer benefits as follows:
- 33 months to Alpha
- 1 month each to Bravo, Charlie, and Omega.
- You retire.
- After your retirement, Alpha decides to attend the Naval Academy, and therefore won't need to use the benefits.
RESULT: You MAY transfer Alpha's unused benefits to any of your other family members, because they WERE designated beneficiaries before you left active duty! (Omega will be pleased!)

Reference (article):
Then click on "New GI Bill Transfer Options Take Effect Aug. 1"
Or: Direct link to article:
"It's recommended that soldiers add all family members as potential beneficiaries of their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, said Bob Clark, the Defense Department's assistant director for accession policy and military personnel policy. Once servicemembers retire or separate, he explained, they can no longer add new family members as potential beneficiaries."

Reference (instruction): OSD(P&R) Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 09-003: "Post-9/11 GI Bill"
[See "page 17 of 29" (Paragraph 3.g.(2).(a).)] "3.g. Time for Transfer, Revocation, and Modification
(1) Time for Transfer. An individual approved to transfer entitlement to educational assistance under this section may transfer such entitlement to the individual's family member only while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.
(2) Modification or Revocation
(a) An individual transferring entitlement under this section may modify or revoke at any time the transfer of any unused portion of the entitlement so transferred.
1. An individual may add new dependents, modify the number of months of the transferred entitlement for existing dependents, or revoke the transfer of entitlement while serving in the Armed Forces.
2. An individual may not add dependents after retirement or separation from the Armed Forces, but may modify the number of months of the transferred benefit or revoke transferred benefits after retirement or separation for those dependents who had received transferred benefits prior to separation or retirement.
(b) The modification or revocation of the transfer of entitlement under this paragraph shall be made by submitting notice of the action to both the Secretary of the Military Department concerned and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Additions, modifications, or revocations made while in the Armed Forces will be made through the Transferability of Educational Benefits (TEB) Web Site ... Modifications or revocations after separation from the Armed Forces will be accomplished through the DVA."

(Thanks to CAPT Bill Greene of PHNSY for the tip!)

Nereus said...


Personally I think that if a Service member had paid the Montgomery GI bill in full, he/she should have the option to use the 9/11 bill for dependents with no further obliserve and even AFTER RETIRMENT. That is based on the $$ amount the service member paid into the system.

The sea-lawyer-ise (sp) of the VA educational benifits that are posted for the M-GI bill vs the 9/11 GI bill has me confused to this day. I want to attend college ( online due to holding a fulll time plus job) and don't have the luxury of dropping everything and going to a brick and mortar campus, and go full time. If you attend online only, you only have tuition paid and you are stuck with paying your own books and do not draw the living stipend. Kinda like the whole Married BAH vs the dude living on the boat.

So, it is a "GOOD DEAL" in every sense of the word. Just like the "GOOD DEAL's" you always got on the boat. Shiney and well packaged but Shite on execution.

blunoz said...

Two *quick* Post-9/11 G.I. Bill updates:

(1) For those with a dependent planning to USE benefits in Fall 2009, be advised that the VA has been overwhelmed by the number of requests for Certificates of Eligibility (CoE). The promulgated rules state that a CoE in the DEPENDENT'S name is required, in order for your dependent to claim benefits. However...

Due to the backlog, please follow this temporary/revised process, IF you have dependents starting school this Fall AND you have not yet received your CoE in your dependent's name:

"Dependents [should] take a copy of the Approved TEB [printed out copy of Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) website's "Approval" page] along with the [completed] VA Form 22-1990E [application for education benefits] with them to the VA counselor at the college they are attending. The counselor will verify enrollment information and submit certificate of enrollment to the VA for payment."

(2) Not 9-11 GI Bill, but another education program... Here's how the "Yellow Ribbon Program" works:

This program "allows institutions of higher learning in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution. ... Schools that intend to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program will establish application procedures for eligible students. The school will determine the maximum number of students that may participate in the program and the percent of tuition that will be contributed ... you must be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% rate [i.e. 36 months of benefits] to be considered for the Yellow Ribbon Program."

Please see the VA's website for additional information about this valuable program.

The participating schools list includes each school's maximum Yellow Ribbon amount per student, and the maximum number of students who can participate. The amounts vary, but most are quite generous.

Click here for the list of participating schools.

(Thanks to CAPT Kelly for the tips!)

blunoz said...

Nereus - It would certainly seem reasonable to allow you to do that (transfer benefits that you paid into the system). It is also unfortunate that it doesn't recognize the level of effort required for some very legitimate online degree programs out there. I mean, giving you the BAH would enable you to work less hours in order to spend that time on your degree program.
In spite of those shortfalls of the program, I do think it sounds like a good deal for currently serving guys who can meet the 4 years of additional obligated service and transfer the benefits to their dependents.

blunoz said...

Don't Miss Out On Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits Transferability
(NAVY.MIL 27 OCT 09) ... Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class LaTunya Howard

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- According to an online poll conducted by Navy Personnel Command, Sailors still don't quite understand how the Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability option works.
Sixty-two percent of Sailors who responded thought they could wait until after retirement to transfer benefits to their children.
"Based on the calls that we're receiving, we're worried that the perception is out there that you can wait until you retire to transfer your benefits and that's not the case," says Kathy Wardlaw, Navy active duty GI Bill program manager. "You have to do it before you leave the Armed Forces."
Sailors with 90 days of active duty service after September 11, 2001, have earned education benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, with no buy-in costs. This benefit can now be transferred to family members shown in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
The first thing Sailors can do is read NAVADMIN 203/09, which provides the requirements for transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
"Normally an enlisted member needs to check with their career counselor because there will be an obligation required," said Wardlaw. "Sailors will need to obtain the obligation through either re-enlistment or extension. Officers can sign a Page 13, and they need to see their administrative officer to do that."
Sailors need to ensure that their obligated service is reflected in their electronic service record before their request for transferability will be processed. A four-year obligation is required for the transferability option.
Since July 2009, 12,000 Sailors have taken advantage of this relatively new education benefit option. This is below the estimated 15,000 the Navy GI Bill office expected.
"I have a nineteen-year-old currently attending Mississippi State University," said Vicky Gallagher, a Navy Reservist. "It's an out-of-state college, and it's expensive to pay that bill as a single parent on one income. With tuition, books and housing, I'm saving nearly $12,000 annually. This money is going to help me quite a bit."
For more information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability program, read NAVADMIN 203/09 or visit the Post-9/11 GI Bill page at