WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) last week introduced legislation to restore eligibility to servicemembers seeking to transfer their educational benefits to dependents.
Last summer, the Department of Defense issued a new policy that requires servicemembers to commit an additional four years of military service at the time of their application to transfer benefits to dependents. The policy change also prevents servicemembers with more than sixteen years of military service from transferring education benefits to their eligible dependents. Previously, any servicemember who had served for six years was eligible to transfer their benefits to an eligible dependent.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Entitlement Act would ensure that all servicemembers who have completed ten years of service in the Armed Forces are eligible to transfer their benefits to dependents at any time – either while serving on active duty or as a veteran – providing a comprehensive fix to the Administration’s unfair, broken policy.
“It’s our duty to ensure that when servicemembers, who sacrifice for our nation, return home, they and their families can receive the education and training they’ve earned,” Brown said.
The legislation was also introduced by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). This legislation is supported by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States and the Reserve Enlisted Association.
“The men and women that protect our way of life often do not come from generational wealth, and they have earned the right to pass on what they have earned to their family,” said Daniel Elkins, Legislative Director of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States.
“The legislation will address inequities and restrictions in transferring GI Bill benefits from service members to spouses and children. With the Department of Defense transfer deadline approaching in January, now is the time to act,” said Ken Greenberg, Director of Veterans and Military Policy for TREA: The Enlisted Association.
“This is a sensible solution that will help our veterans and their families far into the future. If the benefit has already been earned, it only makes sense to honor that veteran’s service by allowing them to transfer the benefit to their dependents,” said Paul Tarbox, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran from Orange, Connecticut who served in the U.S. Army and Connecticut Army National Guard between 1999 and 2009.