Since its first conception, the G.I. Bill has undergone many changes. It has come to be a show piece for all military services and a major draw for enlistments across the board. The new GI Bill is no exception. With the policy changes there are many questions. With the newest GI Bill, the Post 9/11 GI Bill and its change of transferability policy has lead to a great response. The ability of a military member to transfer their educational benefits to a spouse or child is something that many have waited for.

Effective August 1, 2009, the ability, for the first time, to transfer benefits became available. This allows a qualified service member to take their educational benefits and transfer them to immediate family for their use. This would allow 36 months of educational benefits to be used by a spouse or a child of a service member. This applies to all service and service members that qualify Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and other DoD service members. Talk is in the works so that in the future, more Guardsmen may be covered under this policy as well.

The military has long been a staunch advocate of continuing education. Many soldiers that are on a career path have already obtained, or are working on their degrees with the help of programs that the service provides to active duty personnel. They may have enlisted for the educational benefits. They now have the ability to provide that benefit to their family members.

Benefits can be transferred to spouses. Spouses can use the benefit immediately. This means that a military member that is on active duty can transfer their unused benefits to a spouse. That spouse can than immediately start their college education. A spouse has up to 15 years to use the benefit.

A dependent child can also use this program. They have to be 18 or have their high school diploma before they can use the benefit though the service member may transfer to them before that. There is no time limit as to how long they have to use the benefit, but they must use it before reaching the age of 26.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides 36 months of education benefits. This provides for tuition and any incidentals that are associated with school. This means, books, computers, software or anything else that may be deemed as needed for the class is covered. When transferred to a spouse or a dependent child, they also qualify for a monthly living stipend.
Transferability does not have to be to a spouse or to a child.

A service member does not have to pick one or the other. The service member can transfer their benefits to one or more qualifying family members. A spouse and several different children can use the educational benefits. Once benefits are transferred, the marriage of a child or the divorce of a spouse does not affect the benefits. The service member however, can revoke them if they desire to do so.

With the many changes to educational benefits the military has seen, GI Bill transferability was the most requested. President Obama stands behind this furthering of commitment to the military.