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The Pentagon is Making Some Changes to New GI Bill Restrictions

Published: 10/31/2018

Earlier in 2018, the Department of Defense announced it would be making changes to the GI Bill transfer policy that would prevent long-serving troops from being able to pass benefits on to their dependents.

That won’t apply to service members who have been wounded in combat, according to a recent announcement from Pentagon officials.

The Pentagon recently announced Purple Heart recipients will be able to transfer their benefits, regardless of how long they served in the military or whether they are able to commit to a longer period of service.

“Secretary Mattis has been clear, we must recognize the sacrifices these service members have made,” Stephanie Miller, director of accessions policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said in a statement announcing the change.  “This policy reflects our continuing commitment to Wounded Warriors and their families.”

Under the new controversial and highly debated GI Bill transfer policy, service members who have been in the military for more than 16 years can no longer transfer GI benefits to their dependents as of July 12, 2019.  That was a move away from the current policy, which doesn’t cap time-in-service for transferability as long as service members can commit to four more years in the service.

The new policy also ends eligibility of some service members to transfer their benefits, including the ones who couldn’t commit to the additional service requirements because of mandatory retirement, high-year tenure or medical issues.  These changes no longer apply to Purple Heart recipients, although all other laws and DOD policies related to transferring unused Post-9/11 educational benefits remain in effect, according to the Pentagon’s announcement.